Record regional Aussie job vacancies

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Skilled job vacancies

  • The Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) from the National Skills Commission rose by 0.9 per cent in May (or by 2,754 available positions) to a 14-year high (highest since June 2008) of 298,375 available positions. Recruitment activity was up by 25.7 per cent (or 61,045 ads) in May on a year ago and was 77.3 per cent (or around 130,100 available positions) higher than pre-Covid levels.
  • Regional skilled job vacancies hit a record high of 85,927 available positions in May, up by 3.0 per cent from April. Vacancies are up 24.1 per cent on a year ago and are at all-time highs in 12 Aussie regions (detailed below).

What does it all mean?

  • Measures of labour demand are the strongest in at least 14 years. Amazingly, there were 298,375 skilled job vacancies across Australia in May, up 0.9 per cent from April. Recruitment activity is the most buoyant since June 2008, according to the National Skills Commission, while the national unemployment rate hit 48-year lows of 3.9 per cent in the same month. Job ads were up by a massive 25.7 per cent (or 61,045 ads) in May compared with a year ago. And available positions were 77.3 per cent (or around 130,100 roles) higher than pre-Covid levels.
  • Nationally, skilled job vacancies are at all-time highs (since January 2006) for 19 occupational groups in May, as detailed in the table below. Australia currently has severe (record) labour shortages for carers, doctors, nurses, automotive engineers and hospitality workers, with over 9,000 jobs advertised in each of these occupations.
  • Recruitment activity increased across all states and territories last month. The job market is so strong in Tasmania that job vacancies jumped by 11.5 per cent in May to a record high of 4,162 positions (since January 2006). And vacancies in Western Australia hit a record high of 34,489 in May, with employers recruiting for another 1,256 positions.
  • Elsewhere in May, job vacancies increased in Queensland (up 331 ads or 0.6 per cent to 13½-year highs of 60,445); NSW (up 294 ads or 0.3 per cent to 14-year highs of 94,528); Victoria (up 259 ads or 0.3 per cent to record highs of 77,979); South Australia (up 151 ads or 1.0 per cent to 14-year highs of 15,335); ACT (up 46 ads or 2.8 per cent to 7,942); and the Northern Territory (up 20 ads or 0.6 per cent to 10-year highs of 3,258).
  • Australia’s regions have experienced a renaissance in the pandemic with record-breaking recruitment activity. Regional job vacancies hit an all-time high 85,927 available positions in May (highest since May 2010), up by 3.0 per cent from April. Vacancies are up 24.1 per cent on a year ago. And ads are at record highs in 12 Aussie regions, as detailed in the accompanying table.
  • Across major capital cities, skilled job vacancies hit record highs (highest since May 2010) in Sydney (70,635); Melbourne (66,568); Brisbane (32,847) and Adelaide (12,925) in May. Both Hobart and Canberra (both at record highs) are classified as “regional areas” due to the broader inclusion of South-east Tasmania and the ACT in the total job ads numbers by the National Skills Commission.
  • Skilled labour shortages, improved job mobility, higher levels of worker job switching and capacity constraints are driving a lift in Aussie pay packets. Last week, the Fair Work Commission today announced that the national minimum wage will increase by $40 to $812.60 per week or $21.38 per hour from July 1, 2022. The increase of 5.2 per cent is the biggest lift in percentage terms since the 5.7 per cent increase in 2006.
  • And the Reserve Bank (RBA) Board minutes from the June 7 meeting – released yesterday – highlighted that recent business liaison and surveys suggest a further pick up in labour costs. In fact, the Board said, “Around 40 per cent of firms reporting wages information in the Bank’s liaison program indicated that wages growth was exceeding 3 per cent, and about 60 per cent of firms expected wages growth over the year ahead to be higher than current growth rates.”
  • In a speech yesterday, RBA Governor Philip Lowe stressed that annual wage growth of 3.5 per cent is consistent with the Board’s 2-3 per cent target range for inflation, but not rates of wage growth of 4-5 per cent last seen during the mining boom.
  • Either way, strengthening wage growth will likely fan inflationary pressures in the second half of 2022. Commonwealth Bank (CBA) Group economists continue to expect a 50 basis point lift in the cash rate in July to 1.35 per cent.

What do you need to know?

Skilled job vacancies – May

  • The Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) from the National Skills Commission rose by 0.9 per cent in May (or 2,754 available positions) to a 14-year high (since June 2008) of 298,375 available positions.
  • Recruitment activity was up by 25.7 per cent (or 61,045 ads) in May on a year ago and is 77.3 per cent (or around 130,100 available positions) higher than pre-Covid levels.
  • Skilled job vacancies rose in all states and territories in May, led by gains in Western Australia (up 1,256 ads or 3.8 per cent to record highs of 34,489), followed by Tasmania (up 428 ads or 11.5 per cent to record highs of 4,162), Queensland (up 331 ads or 0.6 per cent to 13½-year highs of 60,445), NSW (up 294 ads or 0.3 per cent to 14-year highs of 94,528), Victoria (up 259 ads or 0.3 per cent to record highs of 77,979), South Australia (up 151 ads or 1.0 per cent to 14-year highs of 15,335), ACT (up 46 ads or 2.8 per cent to 7,942) and the Northern Territory (up 20 ads or 0.6 per cent to 10-year highs of 3,258).
  • Job advertisements increased in 32 of the 48 occupational groups in May. Medical Practitioners and Nurses recorded the largest increase (up by 710 job advertisements or 6.2 per cent), followed by Carers and Aides (610 or 4.4 per cent) and Legal, Social and Welfare Professionals (410 or 5.0 per cent). But Hospitality Workers recorded the largest decrease (down by 850 job ads or 6.7 per cent).

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