Job vacancies in Australia just hit a 5-year high

Chris Hopkins/Getty Images

Prospects for Australia’s labour market are growing brighter.

Not only is employment growth accelerating, there are more job vacancies now than there has been in the past five years.

According to the latest Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) released by Australia’s Department of Employment earlier today, the number of job vacancies posted online grew by 1.2% to 170,900 in May, leaving the increase on a year earlier at 2.7%.

In terms of total vacancies, they currently stand at the highest level since July 2012, having increased by 31,200 from October 2013.

Source: Department of Employment

Adding to the optimistic report card, the government said that vacancies increased in all states and territories during May.

“Victoria recorded the strongest increase (1.4%), followed by Queensland (1.0%), New South Wales (0.9%) and South Australia (0.9%),” it said.

From a year earlier, vacancies rose in four of Australia’s states and territories, led by South Australia where they surged by 14.9%. The government said that vacancy levels fell in New South Wales, the Northern Territory and the ACT.

Source: Department of Employment

Mirroring the performance across Australia’s states and territories last month, the government also said that openings increased across all occupational groups as well.

“The strongest increases were recorded for machinery operators and drivers (2.7%), labourers (1.8%) and technicians and trades Workers (1.7%),” it said.

From a year earlier, vacancy levels increased in six of the eight occupational groups monitored with the strongest increases seen for machinery operators and drivers (20.8%), technicians and trades Workers (8.5%) and labourers (6.9%), those occupations that outperformed during the month.

Vacancies for sales workers (2.6%) and managers (1.1%) fell over the same period.

Source: Department of Employment

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.

For those looking for more granular detail as to where and how quickly vacancies are opening up across Australia, this nifty map from the government shows the annual change by regional area using a three-month moving average.

Source: Department of Employment

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