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Job openings rose 2.4% in March due to economic uncertainty

Vaseline 2 months ago

Seek recorded a 2.4 percent increase in advertising in March, the first quarter-on-quarter increase in two years, but the online jobs company says it is still too early to call it a trend.

The latest Seek employment report shows that job openings increased by 0.1 percent in the March quarter compared to the last three months of 2023.

Job vacancy volumes rose 2.4 percent in March – the highest monthly increase in two years – after falling 2.2 percent in February.

Seek ANZ managing director Kendra Banks said the figures were encouraging, with the report pointing to an increase in vacancies for three of the last four months.

“The number of vacancies rose by 2.4 percent in March and has now increased quarter-on-quarter for the first time in two years,” she says.

“The broad decline we have seen in advertising volumes since the peak of job growth in mid-2022 appears to be stabilizing, although it is still too early to call it a trend.”

Twenty-five sectors recorded an increase in the number of vacancies in March, while only three – trade and services, hospitality and tourism and mining, raw materials and energy – showed a small decline.

Ms Banks said advertisements for roles in the information and communications technology sector showed strong growth again in March, up 5.1 per cent.

“Last quarter, consumer services roles grew the most, with the greatest demand for real estate and employees in retail and consumer products,” she said.

SEARCH ANZ director Kendra Banks.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage points to 3.8 percent in March, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

This amounted to a decrease in employment by approximately 7,000 people and an increase in the number of unemployed by 21,000 people. The ABS shows that seasonally adjusted monthly hours worked increased by 0.9 percent over the same period.

The Seek report showed all states and territories recorded an increase in advertising volume in March, with NSW seeing the biggest month-on-month increase in two years, up 2.6 per cent, compared to February. This increase was largely driven by a 7.9 percent increase in advertisements for accounting positions.

For the second time in 12 months, advertising volume grew in Victoria, up 2.4 per cent on February, boosted by a 9.7 per cent increase in administrative and office support roles, while the number of vacancies in the hospitality and tourism sectors fell by 8.9 percent. .

South Australia saw a 2.1 percent increase in vacancies, followed by Western Australia, which recorded a 1.9 percent increase, and Queensland rose 1.6 percent. In the Northern Territory, vacancies rose by 4.2 per cent and in the ACT by 7.7 per cent.

However, a twelve-month comparison to March 2023 showed NSW recording a 20.5 per cent decline in vacancies, Victoria by 21.6 per cent and Queensland by 8 per cent.

The Seek report shows that applications per vacancy – which have grown steadily over the past year – rose 1.7 per cent in March in all states and territories except Tasmania and Western Australia.

Overall, they were up 10.4 percent quarter-on-quarter.

The number of applications per vacancy increased in almost all sectors, with a 10 percent increase in healthcare and medical jobs. Accounting, retail, consumer products and education and training all increased by 4 percent or more compared to the number of applications per job opening in February.