Australia’s labour market continued to defy the doomsayers in December, recording a tiny fall in employment that yet again made a mockery of forecasts for significant weakness.
While there are still questions being asked about the reliability of the ABS’ seasonally adjusted data, it’s clear that the trend, at least for the moment, is that labour market conditions are improving.
Over 300,000 jobs were created in 2015, an outcome that fits with alternate labour market data such as job ads, labour market vacancies and consumer sentiment that have all been steadily improving.
The question many are now asking is how will labour market conditions evolve in the year ahead?
While there are various scenarios being bandied around by market analysts in relation to the broader trend, Australian jobs board Seek has gone to more intricate levels, outlining the five “hot jobs” where they expect hiring to accelerate based on advertising volumes.
Here is its top 5 list for 2016, along with a brief synopsis behind the call.
1.Front End Programmers (YOY growth of 50%) – Front End Programming is a skill-set in high demand as Australia retains its position as one of the world’s top 10 e-commerce markets. We expect this demand to continue well in to 2016 as the Australian e-commerce industry goes from strength to strength. The demand for people with skills and experience in this field is rapidly outstripping supply, making it a favourable employment market for programmers with the right skill set.
2. Carpenters (YOY growth of 40%) – The increasing demand for skilled Carpenters is in line with the continued growth of the construction industry and real-estate market.
3. Site Managers (YOY growth of 35%) – Site Manager roles are in transition. There has been a steady decline for these positions in the mining and resources industry that goes hand-in-hand with general market trends. However, demand for the Site Managers as a whole has been buoyed by the strength of the property sector.
4. Forklift Drivers (YOY growth of 33%) – Forklift Drivers are also riding the e-commerce wave, as distribution centres rely on them to keep abreast the fulfillment of growing domestic and international online shopping trends.
5. Account Managers (YOY growth of 14%) – Sophisticated sales professionals are in demand, as there will always be a role for people that can demonstrate commercial acumen and articulate the true value and return on investment of the solutions they are selling in order to acquire and nurture clients. More broadly, Account Managers act as a good forward business indicator to confidence, and Australian Business Confidence edging up in recent months, growth for these roles are expected to continue.
While those are expected to be the job hotspots in the year ahead, as for the recent trend in job advertisements, that too is encouraging.
Seek reported that new job ads rose by 0.2% in December, leaving the annual increase at 7.8%.
Courtesy of Seek, here’s the year-on-year increase in job advertisements by individual sector over the past 12 months, remembering that these are percentages, not total advertisements.