Only a day after being told Australian job vacancies are falling, we're now told they're rising

The current state of Australia’s labour market remains clouded.

Only a day after receiving the Department of Employment’s job vacancy report for May, which revealed the number of job vacancies are trending lower, we’ve now been told that job vacancies are on the rise.

According to the ABS’ quarterly job vacancies report, the number of job openings rose by 1.9% in the three months to May, taking the total increase in vacancies from a year earlier to 7.1%.

Over the quarter, job vacancies in the private sector jumped 2.1% to 142,900 in trend terms while government job openings held steady at 12,800.

The chart below shows that vacancies in both the private and public sector are still increasing, having bottomed in the August quarter of 2013.

Without seasonal adjustments, the ABS reports that the ACT recorded the largest quarterly increase in vacancies at 25.1% while those in Western Australia recorded the largest decline at 26.9%.

On an annual basis, vacancies in Victoria increased the most in percentage terms – 26.5% – while those for Western Australia slid by 26%.

The divergent performance across the nation is shown in the chart below:

And here are the number of vacancies by sector in the May quarter:

While the ABS and Department of Employment job surveys offer differing opinions on the level of growth in vacancies, what they both reveal is that the number of openings, compared to previous periods over the past decade, remain well below average.

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