The industries hiring and firing in Australia right now

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

For those looking for work, or those seeking a career change, 2017 has been a stellar year for employment growth in Australia.

In the 12 months to November, a mammoth 383,000 people found work, the second-fastest increase on record. The vast majority of those roles were full-time in nature, a distinct shift from the trend of recent years when it was part-time employment that did much of the heavy lifting.

That, along with declines in unemployment and underemployment along with gains in labour market participation and hours worked, all point to a labour market that is in rude health right now.

But, beyond the headline jobs figure, which industries have been hiring and firing recently?

This table from Commsec has the answers, courtesy of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) detailed labour market report released today.

Source: Commsec

Without seasonal adjustments, employment increased by 53,000 in the three months to November, led by a 32,400 increase in those working in “other” services.

Ahead of the Christmas trading season, retail employment also rose strongly, lifting by 23,200 over the same period. Education and training, at 13,700, was another industry where hiring levels were strong.

In comparison, jobs were shed in eight industries, led by manufacturing at 22,900. That likely reflects the closure of Australia’s automotive manufacturing sector.

Over the year, employment in healthcare and social assistance surged by 135,000, outpacing increases of 102,000 and 61,000 respectively in construction and education.

Source: Twitter

The chart comes from Justin Smirk, Senior Economist at Westpac, posted on Twitter today.

Taking into account the latest quarterly changes, Commsec has produced this excellent table revealing the largest employing industries in the country.

Source: Commsec

Despite employment falling in the three months to November, healthcare and social assistance, at 13.3%, is far and away the largest employer in Australia.

It’s followed by retail at 10.4% and construction at 9.4% of total workers.

The good news is that the strong hiring levels seen this year look set to extend into 2018.

Earlier this week, data from the Australian government revealed that online job vacancies — a lead indicator on employment growth — grew 0.3% in November, leaving openings up 8.5% on a year earlier.

At 177,900, vacancies are now the highest that they’ve been since May 2012.

Making those figures all the more impressive, vacancies have increased in most Australian states and territories, and in the vast majority of sectors, over the past 12 months.

So not only is hiring levels strong, but the improvement is broad-based in nature.

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