SEEK’s July Employment report shows that the job ad figures in Australia nosedived to 4.1% on a month-on-month basis in the midst of fighting the Delta variant of coronavirus. A slight relief is that the job ad figures are still 67.9% higher than July 2020 statistics and 20.6% higher than what was in July 2019.
The steep decline in job ad figures is also an aftereffect of the eight week lockdown imposed in Greater Sydney which is still continuing. New South Wales saw the biggest reduction in the number of new job ads which declined by 14.2%. Strict restrictions have also been imposed in parts of Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and parts of Queensland to contain the spread of the virus.
Kendra Banks, SEEK’s Managing Director stated that the continuation of one month long lockdown restrictions in Greater Sydney has led to job ad volumes falling by 14.2% on a month-on-month basis.
On the other hand, NSW’s job ad volumes also tumbled which unfavourably affected the national figures. Being the state with the highest employed population, Hospitality and Tourism industry job ads in NSW saw a plummet of 63.3% followed by a national drop of 30.7 per cent in July. The replicative pattern could also be traced in other sectors like Trades and Services, which declined by 6.9% nationally and 24.8% in NSW and retail and consumer services which slouched by 7.8% nationally and 29.6% in NSW. The retail and consumer services was burdened by the greatest month-on-month drops in job ad volumes.
The application per job ad stayed at ‘subdued’ levels as current applications per job ad are 33% lower in comparison to the same months two years ago. The month of July saw a slight rise of 2.6%. Largely, people being still in a fix or confusion to change jobs can be one of the reasons behind this. Ms. Banks said, “Job security remains the number one priority for workers, and there is a reluctance to switch roles in the market.”
Though the decline in figures is a perennial concern for the administration, there is a silver lining that the recovery post lockdown is swift as proved by the events of 2020. Instances of previous lockdowns in Victoria show that there is bounce in the job ad volumes immediately after the lockdown is lifted. Similar happenings are being hoped for in the future.