Australians can't get a decent pay increase but they have plenty of jobs to choose from

iStockIt could be worse.
  • Australia created 367,100 jobs in the year to March.
  • Strong growth in job ads on employment website Seek points to the likelihood that hiring will remain firm in the months ahead.
  • While Australia has created plenty of jobs over the past year, supply of workers has also been strong, keeping unemployment elevated and wage pressures weak.

While Australia is having trouble mustering any wage pressures at present, it’s not got a problem when it comes to creating jobs.

In the 12 months to March, employment increased by a whopping 367,100, according to data from the ABS, most of them full-time positions.

And it looks like strong hiring will continue for sometime yet if new research from employment website Seek is anything to go by.

Job advertisements placed on Seek’s platform surged are currently 16.5% higher than a year ago, increasing by a further 1% in April.

“The latest data shows that every industry has recorded positive year on year growth this month, with mining, resources and energy experiencing an enormous 62% increase in job ads compared to April 2017, followed by community services and development which saw 49% year-on-year growth,” said Kendra Banks, Managing Director of Seek Australia and New Zealand.


Mirroring the performance by industry, Banks said ad growth was also positive across every state and territory in the year to April.

“Tasmania topped the rankings with 35% growth compared,” she said.

“There were only two regions below the national average of 16.5% in terms of seasonally adjusted year-on-year growth in April: New South Wales, where job ad growth was up 12.8%, and the ACT which saw an 8.3% increase in advertisements.”

While the strength in job ads, mirroring most other leading labour market indicators, suggests employment growth will remain strong in the months ahead, whether it will be enough to lower unemployment, and eventually boost wage pressures, remains uncertain.

Even with strong employment growth for well over a year, population growth and greater levels of labour market participation has meant that there’s still an abundance of potential workers for employers to choose from.

Supply of labour has been nearly as strong as demand, keeping unemployment stuck at 5.5%, above the 5% level where some estimate it will need to fall to, or below, before wage pressures begin to build.

Until that changes, it suggests that while finding a job may get easier, getting a bigger pay increase may be a more challenging task.

We’ll get further information on the state of Australia’s labour market later today with the release of official jobs data for April at 11.30am AEST.

NOW READ: Your 10-second guide to today’s Australian jobs report

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