Australian online job vacancies fell modestly in February, fitting with recent weakness in other labour market indicators.
The government’s Internet Vacancy Index (IVI), a report published by the Department of Employment, fell by 1.9% to 162,055 in seasonally adjusted terms in February, leaving the annual increase at 4.9%.
Despite the annual lift in advertisements, the index is down 46.7%, or some 143,000 vacancies, from its peak in March 2008.
According to the report, vacancies fell in all occupational groups surveyed aside from machinery operators and drivers. The steepest falls were registered in community and personal services positions, along with those for professionals.
From a year earlier, the number of online job postings increased in all groups aside from labourers. Professional positions, up 10% to 44,763 openings, recorded the strongest growth of all groups surveyed.
By state and territory, vacancies fell in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory over February but rose in South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.
Reflective of the divergent economic performance across the nation over the past 12 months, the largest increases in job vacancies were recorded in the ACT, New South Wales and Victoria. At the other end of the spectrum, those states and territories most exposed to the fortunes of the mining industry saw vacancies contract sharply, led by a 19.5% decrease in Western Australia.
Here’s a table, supplied by the Department of Employment, on the change in vacancy levels by occupation and location.
And for those who prefer a more detailed picture on labour market demand, here’s a nifty chart on regional changes in vacancy levels over the past 12 months.
The IVI survey is based on a count of online job advertisements newly lodged on SEEK, CareerOne and Australian JobSearch during the month, with duplicate advertisements removed to ensure greater accuracy.
Though the vast majority of job postings are now placed online, the survey does not capture all available vacancies nationwide that originate from sources such as employer websites, word of mouth and newspapers. The department also stresses that it does not take account multiple positions being advertised for a single job vacancy.