Job ads down but public sector posts continued growth

New job ads have dropped 4.7% nationally compared to the same time last year, but salaries have seen a 2.6% boost. Two states have also defied the national trend and delivered job ad growth. And the public sector has proven a strong performer, again leading growth in job ads. Find out how the trends are impacting your industry in this month’s employment snapshot. 

National job ads fall as two states come out in front

Job ads are down 4.7% nationally compared to March 2018. Kendra Banks, Managing Director SEEK ANZ, says this has been echoed in broader economic activity. “Although year-on-year job ad growth declined this month, job ads continue to be at a relatively high level and the softening we are seeing in this growth is mirrored by softening in GDP growth numbers,” she says.

A majority of states and territories experienced a decline, Banks explains. “In our larger labour force states, such as Victoria and New South Wales, there is a continued job ad decline (-3.1% and -9.0% respectively), with NSW declining since the beginning of the first quarter in 2019. Part of the decline in NSW may reflect a more cautious approach by businesses leading up to the recent state election,” she says.

But two states have bucked this trend, instead showing job ad growth. In Tasmania, job ads were up 15.5% on the same time last year. Western Australia also recorded year-on-year growth with job ads up 2.7%.

Looking short-term, other states and territories saw gains. Job ads in the Australian Capital Territory were up 2.7% compared to last month, while South Australia and the Northern Territory saw month-on-month rises of 1.7% and 1.5% respectively.

Public sector a strong performer

Industries related to public service are clear frontrunners when it comes to job ad growth, continuing to outperform other sectors.

The Government & Defence industry led the way with a 16.8% increase in job ads compared to the same time last year. Salaries in this sector also saw a boost of 1.15% from 12 months ago, with the average annual salary now $93,886.

The Health & Medical Industry saw a 6.4% rise in job ads compared to a year ago, while Education & Training and Community Services & Development also saw increases, as this table shows:

The Mining, Resources & Energy sector still saw job ads rise, but at 1.4% this was modest growth compared to previous periods.

Alongside the weakening housing market, there has been a decline in job ads across the housing sector. Design & Architecture job ads fell by 26.4% and Real Estate & Property by 20.5%, while construction was down 19.8%.

Cities could be seeing this decline more than other areas, Banks says. “Our data has helped to identify that regional areas outside of the greater capital cities appear to be less susceptible to the downturn in the housing market, which in larger cities impacts sectors such as construction and trades,” she says.

Tasmania at the top of salary growth

Despite the slowdown in job ads across the country, salary has still been on the rise. The national average advertised salary has risen 2.6% compared to the same time last year to reach $87,248.

Job ad growth leader Tasmania was a winner on the salary front, too, recording the country’s highest year-on-year salary rise of 4.8%. The average advertised salary in the Apple Isle has reached $77,719.

Victoria and Queensland each saw their average salaries rise by 3.0% compared to the same time last year, while in New South Wales there was a 2.8% increase.

Western Australia has the highest average advertised salary of all states and territories again, at $89,956. The biggest pay packet of the industries was Mining, Resources & Energy at $124,113, up 2.8% on the same time last year. 

Sports & Recreation had the biggest salary boost of the industries, its average growing 6.18% compared to 12 months ago to reach $70,191.