Job ad growth continues into spring
The first month of spring delivered new growth for the Australian labour market.

The latest data from SEEK Employment Trends shows job ads rose by 12.1 per cent in September compared to the same time last year and the positive results were shared across every state and territory. 

Kendra Banks, Chief Commercial Officer for SEEK Australia and New Zealand, says the latest figures are a continuation of the growth experienced in recent months. “This growth in September was off a high base after advertising on SEEK this August returned to the highest levels seen since 2010,” she says. 

Trends in mining

The mining, resources and energy industry has led the way for year-on-year job ad growth on SEEK for nine consecutive months. While off a low base, the industry experienced a 60% increase in September compared to the same time last year and the average advertised salary was $111,644. 

The fields across the industry to record greatest demand year-on-year in September were mining engineering and maintenance, mining operations and health, safety and environment.

Banks notes that employers looking to attract talent across the industry may benefit from knowing what drives their employment choices.

“Our latest SEEK Laws of Attraction research has uncovered that candidates in the mining, resources and energy industry are placing an even greater emphasis on job security than they were five years ago, even though the industry is starting to recover after the mining boom collapse,” she says. “However, salary and compensation remains the number one driver of attraction to work in this industry, followed by job security then work-life balance.” 

Growth across the industries

While mining, resources and energy led the way in year-on-year job ad growth in September, the industries that offered the most opportunities on SEEK included information and communication technology [ICT] and healthcare and medical. ICT saw a 4% year-on-year increase in job ads and the average advertised salary was $103,591. Healthcare and medical grew by 6% and the average advertised salary was $87,872.

Industries tied to construction also saw a lift in September. Trades and services was up by 27% year-on-year and the average advertised salary was $64,630. Job ads in engineering rose by 22% and the average advertised salary was $105,015. The broader construction industry saw year-on-year growth of 17% and the average advertised salary was $106,689.

“These results reflect strong building, construction and infrastructure spending across the country, including rail and road investments,” says Banks.

Meanwhile, job ads in the retail and consumer products industry remained flat from July to September compared to the same period last year and the average advertised salary was $59,950. 

“This is the first year since 2014 that we’ve seen flat annual growth on SEEK for the July to September period for the retail and consumer products industry,” says Banks. 

“The retail and consumer products industry has faced a number of headwinds in Australia, from globalisation increasing competition for domestic retailers, subdued growth in wages and household incomes, and more recently, higher gas and electricity prices adding to cost of living pressures,” she adds. “A concern for a number of retailers is of course the arrival of Amazon, which is expected to tighten margins for retailers further, due to their competitive prices.”

Growth across the country

Every state and territory experienced a boost in job ads on SEEK in September and spring delivered further signs of life for the West Australian job market. Along with South Australia, it led the way in year-on-year growth. Opportunities in WA grew by 17.8% year-on-year while SA was up 22.6%. “In these smaller labour markets, trades and services was the top advertising industry,” says Banks. 

Queensland saw year-on-year job ad growth of 15.7% while Tasmania saw a lift of 10.8%. The positive results also extended to the territories, with SEEK job ads in the Northern Territory increasing by 16.4% year-on-year and 8.8% for the ACT over the same period.

“Job ads continued rise across the country’s largest labour markets of New South Wales (up 7.1% year-on-year) and Victoria (15% year-on-year),” says Banks. “The ICT industry continues to offer the most job opportunities across both states.” 

The change of season brought more positive results from SEEK. The strong labour market signals favourable conditions for candidates, so now is the time to consider what may be driving their employment choices and how you can attract the best talent.