Job ads down but community services sector comes out in front
Sectors related to public service continue to drive job ad growth across the country, with the Community Services & Development sector taking the lead this month.

Nationally, job ads are down 7.8% from the same time last year, but the average advertised salary is up by 2.4%.

See how the trends are taking shape for your location and industry in this month’s employment snapshot.

Job ads down annually, but up on last month

New job ads have declined by 7.8% compared to July 2018. However, for the month, there has been a modest 0.2% increase in jobs advertised.

“On SEEK we have started to see a small increase in jobs advertised in July,” says Kendra Banks, SEEK ANZ Managing Director. All states and territories are showing a decline in job ad volume compared to 12 months ago, except for the Australian Capital Territory, where job ads are up by 12.2%. “ACT especially has seen a surge due to the high proportion of well-performing public sector roles now available across the state,” Banks says.

Leigh Broderick, SEEK Senior Employment Trends Analyst says July is typically a stable month nationally as businesses release new budgets for the new financial year, and this leads into a busier period. “August is traditionally our strongest month,” he says.

Though the year’s end may seem far away, employers could begin to ramp up on hiring now, he adds. “Many businesses will start hiring for their Christmas casuals from now—it happens quite early, so we’ll start to see that coming in as well,” Broderick says.

Public service sectors the strongest performers

Community Services & Development leads as the sector with the highest job ad growth, up 10.3% compared to the same time last year.

The sector has been growing steadily since mid-2013, Broderick says. “It’s been a consistent grower because it’s being driven by aged and disability care, predominantly. We think the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is playing a role there.”

Along with Community Services & Development, the Education & Training and Healthcare & Medical sectors have also consistently led job ad growth in recent times.

“The top players have been pretty consistent—there’s very much a public service flavour,” Broderick says. “Jobs growth across Australia is has predominantly been driven by the public sector for at least a year now. The exception is Mining, Resources & Energy—it’s still growing, but its growth rate is starting to level off.”

The Design & Architecture industry saw the largest decline in job ad growth, down 24.9% compared to the same time last year. The Advertising, Arts & Media sector followed, with a 17.2% annual decline, while new job ads in Construction were down 16.5% compared to 12 months ago.

Real estate roles up this month

Looking short-term, the Real Estate & Property sector saw an increase in roles between June and July. “We’ve seen the Real Estate & Property industry suffer over the last 12 months, but have seen a 7% rise in jobs ads across July,” Banks says. “This could be due to the recent increase in house prices across Sydney and Melbourne with more people now selling property, a pick-up in new loan lending and rise in Auction clearance rates. This will be an interesting sector to watch over the next few months.”

Tasmania a top spot for salary growth

The national average advertised salary is up by 2.4% compared to the same time last year. “Salary growth rates have softened a bit, in line with job ads,” Broderick says. All states have still shown salary growth, with South Australia leading at 4.6%, followed by Tasmania at 3.7%.

Tasmania has been a consistent performer for salary growth and more, Broderick says. “Tasmania is the standout. It has bucked a lot of trends—it has been pretty consistently rising. The fundamentals for Tasmania have been good for a while now—it has benefited from a boom in tourism, and activity in the ageing population. There’s a lot of migration from older cohorts as people are retiring there. Those are the two main drivers for the economy there, and they’re continuing to rise.”