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Australia – Job advert stabilisation continues across south-eastern states

13 March 2014

The latest figures from SEEK show that the number of new job adverts placed with the Australian job board broadly stabilised in February, following steady growth in the last three months of 2013 and a surge in new job adverts in January 2014.

The SEEK New Job Ads, seasonally adjusted, fell by -0.9% in the month, but remain +3.8% higher than three months earlier.

Joe Powell, SEEK Managing Director, commented: “The numbers we see in February point to the economic shift that is occurring from the resource states to the more populous states of the south east. In the year to February 2014 new job ads rose by +9.2% in Victoria and +3.6% in New South Wales while nationally they increased just +0.6%. During the same time period Western Australia new job ads declined -17.5% as the direct and indirect effects of the downturn in mining investment were felt.”

The SEEK Employment Index, which illustrates the ratio of new job adverts placed with SEEK to the number of applications for those jobs, fell by -3% for the month of February. This was after a jump of +7.6% in the three months to January 2014. The fall in the SEEK Index in February can be attributed to a rise in applications, rather than underlying weaknesses in the labour market.

Mr Powell continued: “Applications for jobs advertised on SEEK have risen strongly so far in 2014, rising by nearly +6% in the first two months of this year. This could be attributed to the pickup in job ads, the increase in consumer confidence and the increased engagement on mobile, over 20% of applications on SEEK now come from mobile devices.”

“The strong performance of the SEEK indicators in recent months is consistent with a range of positive economic indicators so far in 2014; including the consumer, housing and services sectors, as confirmed in the Australian National Accounts for the December quarter 2013. This, however, must be balanced against some of the negative forces at work we’re seeing; the decline in areas of manufacturing and the threats of Government cutbacks at both State and Federal level,” Mr Powell added.

The SEEK Employment Index (SEI) declined by -3% across Australia in February 2014. It fell across all the major states; New South Wales (-1.8%), Victoria (-4.7%), Queensland (-1.4%), South Australia (-1.5%), and Western Australia (-5.7%).

The number of new jobs advertised on SEEK fell marginally across Australia by -0.9% in February 2014. State-by-state the New Job Ads Index declined in New South Wales (-0.6%), Victoria (-0.3%), South Australia (-0.6%) and Western Australia (-5.5%); but rose in Queensland (0.3%).

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