Australians have begun to reskill in lockdown as anxiety grows over the economy, according to new LinkedIn data

Job applicants are preparing for a new era of unemployment. (Paul Bersebach, Digital First Media)
  • Confidence in Australian job security has begun to deteriorate, judging from the latest LinkedIn confidence index.
  • More than one in four members indicated they would increase the time they spend looking for a new job, while two in three part time workers didn’t even expect a callback.
  • In response to economic anxiety, many members are spending isolation reskilling as they prepare for a smaller job market as a result of the downturn.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

With the job market set to shrink, Australians are starting to consider their options in an economy which looks radically different.

Taking the temperature of the workforce, LinkedIn’s latest confidence index shows the country is feeling a little anxious about their future job prospects.

“Confidence is low right now as Aussies are worried about finances and job security,” LinkedIn Australia manager Matt Tindale told Business Insider Australia. “However Australians seem to be using this time productively to invest in their own self-improvement, from finessing resumes and online profiles to undertaking online learning.”

The professional social network’s survey of members in April found their belief in their job security appears to have deteriorated, with more than a quarter of Australians saying they will be spending more time looking for a new gig over the coming weeks.

Unsurprisingly, its part-time employees that are increasingly searching for new jobs, but of those more than two in three don’t even expect to hear back from recruiters. Workers anxious at the prospect of being let go and job seekers alike are looking to upskill, with 44% spending time learning online.

“With the Australian unemployment rate expected to reach 10% — or 1.4 million out of work — amid the coronavirus pandemic, job seekers are concerned about the future,” Tindale said.

“From the data, we can infer that a great majority of Australian professionals are forward planning, particularly regarding future roles and job structures, so it makes sense that they’re preparing for the challenges they may be faced with moving forward.”

The silver lining is they now have the time for it. Two-thirds are working from home, or at least have been offered the opportunity to, with nearly all believing they’ll be working from home in the near future.

For those looking to bolster their chances at a new job in the new economy, Tindale’s advice is straightforward, advising Australians to look at “gaining transferable skills which might be useful to a variety of job roles”.

With as many as 780,000 jobs lost in March, it seems employees can’t be too prepared.

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