- Australia created over 400,000 jobs in 2017, the largest over a calendar year on record.
- Job vacancies have risen to the highest level in over five years, suggesting that demand for workers is increasing.
- Openings have increased in most regions and professions over the past year.
Job vacancies continue to lift across Australia.
According to the Australia’s Department of Jobs and Small Business’ Internet Vacancy Index (IVI), skilled job vacancies rose by 0.6% to 183,700 in February.
Openings have now risen in each of the past 16 months — the longest stretch of consecutive gains since March 2011 — leaving total vacancies up 10.5% on a year earlier.
By number, vacancies now sit at the highest level in over five years, something that usually translates to lower unemployment levels in Australia.
As seen in the table below from the IVI report, vacancies increased in five of the eight occupational groupings used by the government in February, led by a 1.5% increase in openings for professional workers.
Over the year, vacancies rose in all groups apart from sales where they fell by 0.4%.
“Job vacancies are rising as skills shortages emerge due to the strengthening labour market,” said Ryan Felsman, Senior Economist at Commsec.
“Candidate availability is declining in the most sought-after technology, construction, science and technology and trades sectors.
“Engineers are in big demand, various construction trades, as well as IT professionals.”
By location, and mirroring the strength seen in openings by occupation, vacancies also increased in all states and territories during the year, led by double-digit gains in Western Australia, Queensland, the Northern Territory, ACT and Victoria.
On a more granular level, vacancies increased in all but five of the 37 regions monitored by the government over the year.
As seen in this map below, the strength, at least in percentage growth, was concentrated primarily in regional areas.
Openings also increased in each of Australia’s eight capital cities over the year, led by Darwin where they grew by 17.8%. Double-digit percentage increases were also seen in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane.
The IVI is based on a count of online job advertisements newly lodged on SEEK, CareerOne and Australian JobSearch during a particular month.
The government says that it does not reflect the total number of job advertisements in the labour market as it does not include jobs advertised through other online job boards, employer websites, word of mouth, in newspapers, and advertisements in shop windows.
It also does not specify whether the vacancies are for full-time, part-time or casual staff.