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Thursday, 19 April 2018 23:35

Tech sector job ads up, but some sectors in decline Featured

Tech sector job ads up, but some sectors in decline Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

The technology and science sector was second only to the mining, resources and energy sector in recording the highest job advertising growth in March, according to new employment data revealing the sector was up by 20% on the previous year.

The 20% year-on-year (YoY).growth in job ads for the tech/science sector was only beaten by the Mining, Resources & Energy sector which saw job ads increase by 35% in March compared to 12 months ago.

The latest job ads report from recruitment firm Seek reveals that across the board in all business and industry sectors, job ad growth in March was up 16.2% compared to this time last year, with the mining and resources sector way out front with 35% growth over the previous year.

But Seek also reveals that despite strong levels of new job ad growth nationally compared to this time last year, figures for March show more declining industries than seen in recent months, and it cautions that this could be an early warning sign of a number of sectors cooling down.

According to Seek, once again, the sector that saw the most significant decrease in job ads this month was Advertising, Arts & Media, with a drop of 20% YoY.

The recruitment firm observes that the Advertising, Arts & Media sector has been struggling with a steady decline in recent months, “perhaps as a result of the increasingly turbulent media landscape in Australia which has experienced significant cuts over the past year”.

seek peter

Real Estate also saw a decrease in job ads of 12% in March when compared to the corresponding period last year.

Seek reports that for the second month in a row, NSW was the number one contributor to national job ad growth, accounting for 34% of the national YoY growth for March, but Victoria came a close second with 28% in March.

It says that while NSW still beats Victoria in terms of total number of new job ads across all sectors, the difference between the states is narrowing dramatically in many industries, including:

  • Victoria’s Healthcare & Medical industry is 54% closer to having the same number of new job opportunities as in NSW;
  • Victoria’s Design and Architecture industry is now also 42% closer to having the same number of new job opportunities available as in NSW;
  • Most notably NSW has widened its lead against Victoria by 122% when it comes to new job ads in Government and Defence; and
  • NSW increased its advantage in Mining, Resources and Energy against Victoria by 67%.

In fact, Seek says when it comes to rolling annual growth rates for new job ads (comparing March 18-April 17 with March 17-April 16), Victoria is the clear winner – accounting for 29% of growth nationally, whereas NSW accounts for 27%.

According to Seek, this pattern is reflected in Victoria pulling ahead of NSW in seven out of the past 12 months in terms of SEEK new job ad growth.

And, in terms of why this is happening, Kendra Banks, managing director, Seek ANZ, says that it is worth taking population growth into account when it comes to job ad growth.

“Changes in population size are generally a forward indicator of spending and growth, especially in terms of investment in roads, schools and wider infrastructure. This investment will generally result in increased jobs across a number of sectors, especially when a population is increasing steadily, as it is in Victoria.”

Banks points to the most recent data from ABS showing that Victoria’s population is growing at 2.4% (147,000) annually, partly driven by the steadily increasing level of domestic migration into the state, and is outpacing NSW where the population is growing at an average rate of 1.6% (123,000).

And, while the labour force in NSW is still larger than Victoria’s (accounting for 32% of the national total according to ABS data), Victoria now accounts for 26% of the national labour force.

Banks says that over the past year, Victoria has seen Healthcare, Design and Architecture, Engineering, Hospitality and Tourism — and ICT — growing at a significantly faster rate than in NSW.

“If current trends continue, Victoria could soon become Australia’s Healthcare capital as growth in new job ads has narrowed the gap between the states significantly in the past 12 months. In the last year, 31% of all healthcare job ads were in NSW, while Victoria’s share increased significantly to 29%,” Banks notes.

Banks concludes, however, that certain sectors including Real Estate & Property, Mining, Insurance and HR, are still performing more strongly in NSW than in Victoria.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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