Demand for workers has rarely been stronger in Australia

Bodybuilder Reg Park pretends to inflate his own bicep. Coope/BIPs/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.
  • Australian employment increased by over 400,000 in the year to January.
  • Jobs ads placed on Seek are currently 16.2% higher than they were a year ago, hinting that demand for workers is continuing to strengthen.
  • Most sectors, along with every state and territory, recorded growth in job ads of more than 10% over the year.

Australia created over 400,000 jobs in the past 12 months, indicating that demand for workers is stronger than at any point seen in recent years.

There are few signs that will change anytime soon.

According to Australian jobs website Seek, job ads placed on its platform grew 2% nationwide in February, driven by improvements in all states and territories except the Northern Territory and South Australia.

That saw total ads lift by a massive 16.2% from a year earlier, the ninth consecutive month that a double-digit annual increase was recorded.

Whether by sector or state, strong increases were seen across the board.

Here’s the year-on-year increase in ads by sector.

Source: Seek

And here’s the year-on-year change by state and territory over the same period, including the sectors where ads have increased the most over the past year.

Source: Seek

While the Seek report includes duplicate job advertisements as well as job ads that have been altered, the data, along with numerous other leading labour market indicators, suggests that demand for workers remains robust in early 2018.

And while labour market supply (available workers) is also increasing at a decent pace due to stronger labour market conditions and population growth, the strength in job ads suggests that unemployment will probably decline from its current level of 5.5% in the period ahead, slowly helping to boost wage pressures as the labour market tightens.

We’ll get further information on that front later today when the ABS releases Australia’s jobs report for February.

An increase in employment of 20,000 is expected leaving the unemployment rate steady at 5.5%.