Job ads down but demand for social services drives growth
The public sector continues to underpin job ad growth, with demand for health, community services and education roles driving the top-performing industries.

Nationally, new job ads are down 7.8% on 12 months ago but hiring activity for casual and vacation positions is up as the summer season approaches. Find out more in this month’s employment market snapshot.

Health, community services and education lead growth

Across the sectors, Community Services & Development led job ad growth with a 16.7% increase compared to October 2018, followed by the Healthcare & Medical and Education & Training sectors, which each saw 5.6% increases in new job advertising.

“Frontline social services continue to make the greatest contribution to job ad growth across Australia,” says Kendra Banks, Managing Director SEEK ANZ.

“In Healthcare there is a strong demand for aged care nurses; across the Community Services sector, there is a great demand for aged and disability support workers. Secondary school teachers remain in high demand.”

SEEK Employment Analyst Adama Abanteriba adds that the Community Services & Development sector is growing fastest, while Healthcare & Medical is making the largest contribution to growth given its size.

“When we look below the surface, what becomes evident is that Healthcare & Medical and Community Services & Development share overlapping drivers – demand from the aged care sector as well as the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme which is creating more demand,” he adds.

“In the medical sector, as well as aged care nursing it’s physio, occupational therapy and rehab roles plus speech therapy that are underpinning demand and creating opportunities for candidates.”

Job ads down year on year

Australia-wide, new job advertising is down 7.8% compared to October 2018. On a state level, job ad volumes were up in the Australian Capital Territory with 5.7% growth year-on-year, and in South Australia which saw a 2.2% lift. However, the remaining states and territories saw declines.

Abanteriba says tax cuts and RBA rate cuts in preceding months were yet to boost overall hiring activity. “Usually it takes some time for that type of stimulus to work in improving hiring activity.”

Industry-wise, public service roles had been at the forefront for job ad growth this year. “Public sector-related roles have continued to show positive growth while private sector roles have shown decline,” Abanteriba says. “That’s been the story of calendar year 2019.”

Lift in casual roles ahead of summer season

The Hospitality & Tourism sector especially has seen a seasonal boost in hiring activity for casual roles, Banks says.

“As in previous years ahead of the summer season, we see hiring activity for casual and vacation positions up compared to other months. Encouragingly, year on year these roles are up 6%, with most of this growth coming from the Hospitality & Tourism Sector.

“The Hospitality & Tourism Sector continues to offer many opportunities. In October we saw more than 11,000 jobs advertised, representing the greatest number we have ever seen. There is a broad range of jobs available from tour guides to waitstaff, to guest services and travel agents. Employers are preparing for the summer months as Australians make the most of the holiday season.”

Salaries up across the country

The nation’s average advertised salary grew 2.0% compared to October 2018, at $88,614. Salaries grew in almost every state and territory, led by South Australia with 3.6% growth year-on-year to an average of $82,777 followed by Queensland, where the average rose 2.8% to $85,921. The only exception was the Northern Territory, where the average was down 0.8% year-on-year at $86,278.