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Thursday, 19 March 2020 08:27

Online job ads fell by 7.5% in February, SEEK figures show

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Online job ads fell by 7.5% in February, SEEK figures show Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Online job advertisements on the site SEEK fell by 7.4% in February year-on-year, the company's latest figures show, but three sectors bucked the trend and showed increases.

SEEK said in a statement that for the eighth straight month, public sector hiring across Community Services and Development and Healthcare and Medical grew by 18.7% and 2.1% respectively.

The other sector to show a rise was Banking and Financial Services which showed a 2% rise in online ads in February, compared to a year ago.

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Despite the gloom and doom accompanying the spread of the coronavirus, the average advertised salary across the country was up by 1.9% year-on-year, with the average being $89,238.

The bigger states showed a drop in job ads, with NSW leading the way with a fall of 13.6%, followed by Victoria (8.5%) and Queensland (2.6%). But the other states and territories went the other way: Tasmania (4.3%0, ACT (4.1%), South Australia (0.7%), Northern Territory (3.9%) and Western Australia (3.2%) all had positive figures to show compared to February 2019.

SEEK managing director Kendra Banks said after two months of improved conditions in job advertising, "we are starting to see hiring activity reflect some of the additional challenges in the labour market, namely the devastating bushfire season and coronavirus".

"February data shows job ad growth surging in Community Services & Development, and moderate growth in Healthcare & Medical, which we expect to continue as federal and state governments allocate more resourcing to these sectors," she said.

"Nurses, aged care support staff, medical specialists and pharmacists are examples of the roles showing growth, which could be linked to future demand from the community due to the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus."

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But other industries showed further declines in hiring activity. "Hospitality and Tourism is in its second month of year on year decline, down -2% in January and -3% in February, with service-related roles such as wait staff largely driving this downward shift," Banks said.

"The Education & Training sector is also being impacted, with job advertising down -2% year on year to February 2020. Roles in vocational teaching and management are contributing to much of the decline.

"Next month we will have further insight on the impact of coronavirus and its effect on the Australian employment landscape. We expect many industries to be significantly disrupted as this unprecedented scenario continues to unfold.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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