SEEK job ads hit another record high in November, with post-lockdown listings a full 50% above 2020 levels

SEEK job ads hit another record high in November, with post-lockdown listings a full 50% above 2020 levels
  • Job listings on SEEK hit new record highs in November, and sit 50% higher than in November 2020.
  • Hospitality and tourism job listings led the way as coronavirus lockdowns faded away.
  • Applications per listing have fallen too, said SEEK managing director Kendra Banks.
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Job ads on employment portal SEEK hit new record highs in November, with industry-wide tussles for talent and a smaller pool of potential workers driving the number of job listings 50% higher than the same time last year.

In its new annual review, released Thursday, SEEK said job listings are now nearly 52% higher than in November 2019, one of the last full months before the pandemic rocked Australia’s labour market.

Job ad listings in November also overcome the standard pre-Christmas slump, increasing 1.1% from October levels.

Hospitality and tourism job listings led the year-long charge to November 2021, SEEK noted, with those listings rising more than 76% over the year.

That spike reflects the return of customer-facing roles and through stop-start coronavirus restrictions, with SEEK noting that gyms, fitness studios, and sports centres are doing particularly well now the harshest lockdown measures have eased.

But job applications per listing continue to tumble, SEEK said, reflecting the surge in total listings, ongoing gaps in the workforce caused by Australia’s closed border policy, and lingering concerns about job security among some workers.

“With such phenomenal demand for talent, the number of applications per job ad were no match and we saw a continued decline in applications from May to November,” said SEEK managing director Kendra Banks.

With the labour market skewed in favour of talented jobseekers, the data indicates there’s no immediate end in sight for the ‘Great Resignation’ — the pandemic-era trend of knowledge workers shuffling into new gigs with higher pay, better perks, and fewer factors contributing to burnout.

Almost one in three Australian workers are considering a job change in the next six months, Banks said, suggesting the trend could carry on into a lockdown-light 2022.

Curiously, Banks also said the Great Resignation is “yet to be seen in Australia’, perhaps indicating local industry upheaval has not matched that seen in markets like the United States.

In any case, the figures will be warmly welcomed by entities like the Reserve Bank of Australia, which hopes widespread wage growth will help the economy stand on its own feet — allowing the central bank to tweak its ultra-lax monetary conditions and lift record-low interest rates.