Mining industry recovery bolsters Australian job market
The latest data from SEEK Employment Trends shows the annual trend growth is the strongest since August 2015 and experts say competition for talent is hotting up.

SEEK job ads for June grew by 10.9% year-on-year and the positive results were shared across the majority of industries. “There’s a general sense of confidence in the market right now,” says James Purtell, Managing Director of recruitment firm Cox Purtell. “When confidence is up, there is a greater willingness to hire more people and this may lead to greater competition in the market.”

Mining on the rise

Mining, resources and energy led the way in June with SEEK job ads for the industry rising by 84% and the average advertised salary was $106,235. “There is much more optimism in the sector than in recent years,” says Shaun McCambridge, managing director of Stellar Recruitment. “We’re seeing strong demand for skilled tradespeople, such as diesel fitters, as well as project managers, finance managers and mining engineers.”

It’s not only mining engineers experiencing increased demand. The engineering industry as a whole saw growth in June with job ads rising by 30% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $105,292.

“Demand for engineers is strongest in NSW and Victoria, where there are a number of large infrastructure projects going on,” adds McCambridge. “We expect to see things heat up in eastern Queensland as well with the Logan Enhancement project and the Parallel Runway project at Brisbane Airport. These projects are all leading to a greater need for engineers.”

A lift for government and defence

Job ads in the government and defence industry grew by 20% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $90,561. Purtell says that while there is an increase in hiring at the Federal level, the New South Wales Government is showing the strongest appetite for talent across the states. “The NSW economy is strong and there’s a budget surplus,” he says. “It feels like the purse strings aren’t so tight at the moment and hiring is quite robust.”

Growth in banking in financial services also continued in June with job ads up by 5% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $90,695. Job ads for accountants showed similar growth, rising by 4% and the average advertised salary was $83,321. “We’re seeing growth in the temporary for accountants,” says Purtell. “We’re also seeing a good number of applicants, which is positive news for employers.”

A slip in three sectors

The majority of industries saw an increase in job ads in June and only three experienced a decline. Call centre and customer services was down by 4% and the average advertised salary was $57,638. Retail and consumer products slipped by 5% and the average advertised salary was $59,379. There was also a decline for advertising, arts and media where job ads were down by 18% and the average advertised salary was $74,433.

Meanwhile, job ads in the insurance and superannuation industry were at the same levels as the same time last year and the average advertised salary was $87,653. However, Purtell says there are signs of growth in the market. “We’re seeing good demand for account executives and claims brokers,” he says.

Good news continues in Western Australia

Further recovery in the mining states of Western Australia and Queensland, as well a pick-up in NSW and Victoria, helped drive the solid year-on-year growth in SEEK job ads.

“The positive signs continued in Western Australia, where job ads were up by 13.8% year-on-year,” says Michael Ilczynski, Managing Director of SEEK Australia and New Zealand. “This is the strongest growth since the mining boom peaks of early 2012. Queensland also delivered solid results and was the strongest state for job advertising in June.”

The NSW job market saw its third consecutive monthly boost in job ads in June and Victoria also remains strong. Meanwhile, Tasmania, South Australia and Northern Territory all experienced high levels of job ads relative to the past five years and there has been an upward trend over the past four months.

Talent attraction

As competition for talent remains strong, McCambridge says employers should review their recruitment practices in order to secure the best candidates. “Your processes need to be very slick,” he says.

“When you’ve found the right candidate, avoid delaying an offer because you may miss out,” adds McCambridge. “Also, remember that candidates today are interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them, so make sure you make your value proposition very clear.”

June delivered strong results for the employment market with job ads on the rise in almost every industry. Now may be the time to review your recruitment strategy to make sure you secure the top talent.