SEEK recorded the most new job listings in its 23-year history over March, as Australia’s labour market surges back into action

  • Employment portal SEEK says it recorded the highest number of new job listings in its 23-year history over March.
  • Job listings are up a remarkable 75.1% over the same period in 2020, speaking to the labour market’s recovery from COVID-19 restrictions.
  • But many of the new listings “are for roles that were displaced in the last year”, SEEK states, raising questions about further job creation.
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Employment portal SEEK tallied the highest number of new job listings in its 23-year history over March, suggesting Australian businesses are roaring back into action after pandemic shutdowns.

In a new report, SEEK says overall job listings are up 10.3% from February, and an astonishing 75.1% up from the same period last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic first shut Australia’s international border and forced businesses into hibernation.

The new employment charge is led by the hospitality and tourism industry, SEEK says, with the sector recording a 34.8% spike from just one month ago.

Kendra Banks, managing director for SEEK Australian and New Zealand, said domestic tourism vouchers and the announcement of government-subsidies flights accelerated the hiring spree.

“There was an easing of restrictions in some major capitals meaning that customer numbers could be increased, also incentives were introduced discounting flights and accommodation as well as businesses preparing for the Easter holidays,” Banks said.

In terms of new job listings, the trades and services sector was a distant second, recording a comparatively paltry 9.1% month-on-month spike.

The healthcare and medical services sector trailed behind with a 8.6% increase in listings since February.

Combined with the latest unemployment figures, the SEEK data suggest Australia’s labour market is recovering well from pandemic shutdowns.

But concerns linger for those still unemployed, who may not be slotting into those fresh vacancies.

In late March, the Australian Council of Social Services warned that dozens of JobSeeker recipients existed for every one entry-level job listing.

Many of the latest job listings “are for roles that were displaced in the last year,” Banks added, suggesting that much of the re-hiring spree lies in food service industries, technical fields, or qualified trades.

Applications per job are also down, potentially speaking to the diminishment of Australia’s migrant workforce through the year.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to release its newest tranche of labour force data today, potentially providing further evidence of the nation’s economic resurgence — and providing a clearer picture of changes in Australia’s workforce.