Job Ads recovery picking up pace again

ANZ Australian Job Ads rose 7.8% m/m in September following an upwardly revised 2.6% in August. Job ads were still down 21% since February though.

ANZ Senior Economist, Catherine Birch, commented:

After only minimal improvement in August, ANZ Job Ads growth accelerated to 7.8% m/m in September. There were week-to-week gains throughout the month, which was positive news given the ongoing restrictions in Victoria. But Job Ads were still down 21% on their February level (pre-COVID-19). The question now is whether a return to pre-pandemic levels of job ads and vacancies would be enough to entrench a solid labour market recovery.

Those previous levels reflected churn (ie workers changing jobs), skills and labour mismatches, and rising labour demand as the economy expanded. Yet right now, we need to get a huge volume of people – who were until recently employed – back into the workforce, along with new entrants and those wanting to re-enter the workforce. This suggests that job ads and vacancies may need to sustain materially higher levels for some time.

With this in mind, it is encouraging that job ads and/or vacancies are above pre-pandemic levels for all states/territories bar Vic, NSW and the ACT on at least one of three measures: the DESE’s Internet Vacancy Index, SEEK job ads and ABS job vacancies. But Vic in particular, along with NSW and the ACT, still have a way to go.

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