Opportunities on SEEK were up by 14.7% in January compared to the same time last year. While the mining, resources and energy sector continued to lead the way in job ad growth, an increasing demand for science and technology skills boosted opportunities in related industries, such as engineering.
Kendra Banks, Managing Director of SEEK ANZ, says the outlook is bright for candidates with these highly sought-after skills.
"We’re seeing a strong national demand for STEM skills – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – which reflects a global talent shortage,” says Banks. “This ‘talent shortage’ has been identified by Australian CEOs as one of their top business risk areas, but it also creates huge competitive job opportunities for Australians with engineering and IT skills.”
Industries on the rise
The mining, resources and energy sector was out in front again in January with job ads on SEEK increasing by 54% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $118,471. Trades and services followed with a lift of 31% and the average advertised salary was $66,472.
Human resources and education also saw year-on-year growth of 29% and the average advertised salary was $87,847. Meanwhile, Australia’s construction industry continued to record positive results with opportunities rising by 19% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $109,293
A lift for the public sector
Australia’s public sector got off to a strong start for the year on SEEK. Government and defence recorded growth of 21% compared to the same time last year and the average advertised salary was $92,145.
Banks notes that the growth in opportunities across the public sector is being driven by large employing sub-sector of local government.
“Across Australia, new job ads in local government are up 31% with more than 1,200 opportunities available,” she says. “Strong increases in job opportunities, but off lower bases, were also seen in the navy and police and corrections.”
The state and federal government also posted healthy increases of 14% and 16% respectively.
STEM skills in demand
STEM skills have been in the spotlight in recent times and this may help explain the lift in opportunities in industries such as engineering. It saw a 25% growth in job ads on SEEK compared to the same time last year and the average advertised salary was $106,980.
Science and technology also experienced year-on-year growth of 22% and the average advertised salary was $86,722. Victoria led the way for opportunities across the industry with job ad growth of 30%. Queensland followed with a lift of 24% while NSW experienced growth of 21%.
Modest growth for banking
While most industries experienced year-on-year increases in job ads in January, some recorded relatively weak growth. This included banking and financial services, which saw a modest 7% year-on-year lift and the average advertised salary was $91,693. Sport and recreation recorded a 5% increase in opportunities and the average advertised salary was $63,344
Meanwhile, advertising arts and media was the only industry to experience a decline. Opportunities slipped by 12% compared to the same time last year and the average advertised salary was $76,836.
Trends across the country
Every state and territory experienced a boost in job ads on SEEK for the first month of 2018. Opportunities in the ACT grew by 10.6% year-on-year and construction was one of its strongest performing industries. For the three-month period of November to January, construction saw with a 41% lift across the territory.
Job ads on SEEK for NSW grew by 10.7% year-on-year while Queensland saw a lift of 16.6%. In the Northern Territory, opportunities were up by 27% year-on-year, Victoria was up by 17% and South Australia grew by 22.8%. The mining, resources and energy sector recorded the greatest year-on-year increase in job ads from November to January in each of these locations.
Tasmania recorded a 26.4% boost in SEEK job ads compared to the same time last year and the education and training sector was the state’s top performer. Meanwhile, the positive momentum continued in Western Australia. The state recorded an 18.6% lift in opportunities and engineering industry led the way.
The new year got off to a positive start with job ads on SEEK increasing in the vast majority of industries. Will the trend continue throughout the summer months? We’ll be watching how the market moves.