Job ad drop eases as salaries stay on the rise

Job ads have fallen by 6.5% compared to 12 months ago, a smaller decline than last month. The average salary has grown by 3.4% compared to the same time last year, while public service industries led the way for job growth once again. See how market trends could impact your industry in this month’s employment snapshot.

Decline in job ads moderates after April drop

Job ads on SEEK were down by 6.5% in May compared to May 2018. But this is a lesser decline than the year-on-year drop of 8.9% recorded in April.

Kendra Banks, Managing Director, SEEK ANZ says interruptions had contributed to the April drop but the decline had eased in May. “It has been interesting to see that job ad volumes have moderated in May after a pronounced drop in April,” Banks says. “We suspected that April advertising was heavily impacted by multiple public holidays and the lead up to the Federal election, and our data has verified this hypothesis.”

In May, the decline in job ad volume was still seen across all the states and territories except for the Australian Capital Territory, which had a 12.9% year-on-year increase in job ads.

Banks also says that while job ad volumes were down nationally in May, 2018 was a very strong year to compare to. “It is important to note that 2018 was somewhat of an anomaly with the highest [job ad volumes] in the past decade,” she says. “If we compare May 2019 to May 2017, we can see that this month had 3.0% more jobs advertised.”  

Public service roles continue to push ahead

Industries related to the public service led the way for job ad growth in May and have been consistent top performers for growth so far this year.

The Education & Training sector was out in front with an 13.7% increase in advertised jobs compared to May 2018, while the Healthcare & Medical industry saw a 7.8% boost in job ads.

Banks says these sectors will be worth watching closely as the new financial year begins. “As Australian businesses work through the outcomes of the Federal election and set their 2020 financial year budgets, it will be interesting to see which industry groups commit to new headcount,” she says. “Our data is showing strong growth across Education & Training and Healthcare & Medical sectors, and we will watch these sectors closely as we head into what is traditionally the busiest recruitment period of the year.”

Meanwhile the Mining, Resources & Energy sector has consistently driven job ad growth so far this year; it posted a 5.3% increase compared to May 2018. The Science & Technology sector saw a small rise of 0.3% compared to 12 months ago.

The Design & Architecture sector saw the largest year-on-year decline of the industries for new job ads, which were down by 26.8% compared to May 2018. This was followed by the Construction and Real Estate & Property industries.

Tassie on top for salary growth

The national average advertised salary in May of $88,260 was 3.4% higher than 12 months ago. All states and territories posted salary growth and Tasmania, already a strong performer this year, led the way. The average salary in the Apple Isle, $78,324, was up 5.8% on the same time last year.

There was also strong salary growth in Western Australia, which had a 4.3% increase, and Queensland, where the average salary rose 3.8% year on year.

Industry wise, Advertising, Arts & Media led the way for salary growth with a 6.6% rise, followed closely by Banking & Financial Services at 6.5% and Community Services & Development at 6.2%. The average salary in the Trades & Services sector saw a 5.6% increase while Human Resources & Recruitment saw a 5.1% rise. “We have seen salary increases in the majority of sectors,” Banks says.

The biggest pay packet currently sits in the Mining, Resources & Energy sector, $125,028, while WA has the highest average salary of all the states and territories, $91,070.