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Australia - Mixed signs from job ads

09 May 2013

The Australian SEEK Employment Index (SEI), the ratio of new job ads placed with the online employment site during the month against the number of applications for those jobs, decreased by -5.7% in April. The SEI declined in all states; New South Wales (-4.3%), Victoria (-6%), Queensland (-4.7%), South Australia (-6.6%), Western Australia (-8.1%), Tasmania (-12.3%), Northern Territory (-6.5%) and ACT (-10.8%).

“With the Easter and ANZAC breaks in April creating inconsistencies in hirer and candidate activity, which is not always accurately picked up through seasonal adjustment, we’re not surprised to see this decrease”, said SEEK Managing Director Joe Powell.

However, the demand for General Practitioners (Doctors) has almost doubled, with job ads up +95%, compared to this time last year. In addition, Health and Medical professions across the board have seen growth year on year, with the demand for Medical Imagers, Pharmacists, Medical Specialists and Dentists growing by +46%, +34%, +34% and +33% respectively.

SEEK spokesperson Sarah Macartney says, “It’s no surprise that with Australia hitting a milestone population of 23 million in April that the demand for Primary Healthcare workers has increased.

“As our nation’s population continues to expand, we could expect to see that growth mirrored by demand in the Healthcare industry.”

Eslewhere, Australia’s resources states have recorded an ease in the decline of new job ad volume for April 2013. During April Western Australia showed a decline in job ad volume of only -1.1%, the smallest decline in three months, with previous declines as steep as -5%. Queensland continues to fluctuate with a decline of -1.5% for the month of April, compared to declines of -0.6% and -1.6% for March and February respectively.

Joe Powell said, “Previous results for the resource-rich states reflected a reduction in demand for labour as they came off a massive investment boom in mining projects.  It is too early to predict a renewal of the labour market in these states, but it is an encouraging sign and it will be interesting to see if this trend continues or if it is merely an aberration.”

“Regardless of the SEI, there will always be opportunities with certain roles in certain industries showing a stronger demand for candidates”, said Mr Powell.

Viewed by job type, there has been an increase in the number of new job ads listed across Australia for Credit Assessors, Geoscientists, IT Security Specialists, Insurance & Superannuation Underwriters, and General Practitioners.

SEEK tracks job ad growth across 30 industry classifications and over 400 job types. SEEK finds which job markets are fast-moving, by measuring the job types which have the largest percentage increase in new listings, each month.

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