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March, 201912:27 AM



Skilled job vacancies hit 6½-year highs

Skilled job vacancies hit 6½-year highs

The Internet Vacancy Index rose by 0.7 per cent in trend terms to 9-month highs in December.

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23.01.2019 05:01 PM

Skilled job vacancies hit 6½-year highs
Skilled job vacancies

Skilled vacancies: The Internet Vacancy Index rose by 0.7 per cent in trend terms to 9-month highs in December. It was the third straight gain in the trend index. The index is 1.4 per cent higher than a year ago and 31.4 per cent above its October 2013 low.

Number of vacancies: In seasonally adjusted terms there were 185,547 skilled job vacancies in December – the highest level in 6½ years

What does it all mean?

The Aussie job market is in good shape, and more importantly it’s likely to stay that way over the next year with workers in big demand across a raft of sectors. After falling for six straight months, the number of skilled job vacancies is rising again. The job market is the main determinant of health for housing and retail sectors.

Health and welfare workers remain in significant demand across the country. Skilled vacancies are at record highs for Medical Practitioners and Nurses; Health Diagnostic and Therapy Professionals; Health and Welfare Professionals; and Carers and Aides. The other occupation in record demand is Information Professionals.

On the other side of the coin, demand has continued to ease for Machinery Operators and Drivers; Sales Workers; and Labourers. In fact the skilled vacancy index for sales workers has halved in a decade.

What do the figures show?
Skilled Vacancies

The Department of Jobs and Small Business Internet Vacancy Index rose by 0.7 per cent to 9-month highs in December. It was the third straight gain in the trend index. The index is 1.4 per cent higher than a year ago and 31.4 per cent above its October 2013 low. 

In seasonally adjusted terms there were 185,547 skilled job vacancies in December – the highest level in 6½ years.

Increases in job advertisements were recorded for five of the eight occupational groups, with the strongest gains recorded for Community and Personal Service Workers (up by 1.4 per cent), Professionals (1.0 per cent), and Technicians and Trades Workers (0.9 per cent). Job advertisements for Machinery Operators and Drivers, Sales Workers, and Labourers decreased in December 2018 (down by 1.2 per cent, 0.8 per cent, and 0.8 per cent respectively).

Over the year to December 2018, the largest increases in job advertisements at a more detailed occupational level were recorded for Medical Practitioners and Nurses (up by 1010 job advertisements), followed by Health Diagnostic and Therapy Professionals (670), Legal, Social and Welfare Professionals (670), Carers and Aides (560), and Automotive and Engineering Trades Workers (430).

The largest decreases in job advertisements at the detailed occupational level were recorded for Sales Assistants and Salespersons (down by 1000 job advertisements), followed by Other Labourers (670), Drivers and Storepersons (560), Construction Trades Workers (490), and Sales Representatives and Agents
(470).

Job vacancies rose in seven of the states and territories in December: NSW (up 0.3 per cent); Victoria (up 1.5 per cent); Queensland (up 0.1 per cent); South Australia (up 0.5 per cent); Western Australia (down 0.1 per cent); Tasmania (up 1.7 per cent); Northern Territory (up 1.7 per cent); ACT (up 0.5 per cent).

Over the year to December 2018, job advertisements rose in four of the eight occupational groups, with the strongest gains recorded for Community and Personal Service Workers (up by 7.9 per cent), followed by Professionals (7.5 per cent), and Clerical and Administrative Workers (2.2 per cent). The strongest decreases in job advertisements were recorded for Labourers (down by 10.5 per cent), Sales Workers (9.1 per cent), and Machinery Operators and Drivers (7.5 per cent).

Over the year to December, job vacancies rose in three of the states & territories: NSW (down 2.3 per cent); Victoria (up 7.8 per cent); Queensland (down 3.5 per cent); South Australia (down 1.5 per cent); Western Australia (up 4.4 per cent); Tasmania (up 28.3 per cent); Northern Territory (down 2.3 per cent); ACT (down 2.2 per cent).

What is the importance of the economic data?

The Department of Jobs & Small Business releases a monthly Internet Vacancy Index. The index is based on a count of online job advertisements newly lodged on three main job boards (SEEK, CareerOne and Australian JobSearch) during the month. The index is the only publicly available source of detailed data for online vacancies, including around 350 occupations (at all skill levels), as well as for all states/territories and 37 regions.

What are the implications for interest rates and investors?

The Reserve Bank is working on the assumption that the job market will remain strong, pushing up wages and prices, and eventually interest rates. And this expectation remains on track.

The lift in job vacancies in the Northern Territory is encouraging, hitting an 8-month high. Job markets remain strong in Victoria and Tasmania. In fact the number of job vacancies in Tasmania is the highest since mid-2011, pointing to ongoing strength in housing and retail sectors.

CommSec expects official interest rates to remain stable until late 2019.

Published by Craig James, Chief Economist, CommSec
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