After months of incremental falls, demand for candidates fell away decisively last month, Seek says.
Victoria leads steep decline in October job ads
A steep decline in job adverts in Victoria led the national figure decisively south last month after a run of incremental declines, according to the latest data from Seek.
The national fall of 5 per cent in ad volumes for October was the worst result since November last year, the recruitment website said, even though its most recent figure for job applications – a 4.1 per cent increase in September – suggested there were plenty of candidates.
Seek managing director Kendra Banks said there were signs of seasonal effects in the data but some anomalies too.
“Job ads fell 5.0 per cent in October, indicating that perhaps employers have begun winding up their hiring activity early for the year,” she said.
“Despite the proximity to the holiday season, hospitality and tourism recorded the greatest drop in ad volume, likely due to inflation and the rising cost of living putting continued pressure on businesses.”
“There is still increasing interest among candidates to find a new role, as applications per job ad rose in almost every industry and in all of the largest states.”
“With two months until the end of the year we would expect both hiring and application activity to slow over the coming months, before picking up again early next year.”
Victoria led the decline in job ads, falling 6.8 per cent month-on-month – its largest decline in two years.
“The sharp decline was mainly due to an 8.2 per cent drop in Melbourne metro jobs, particularly in the construction and industrial sectors, compared to the rest of the state where job ads fell 2.8 per cent,” Seek said.
NSW recorded a 5.1 per cent drop in job ads and after last year’s “great job boom”, the two most populous states were now where the job ad decline was most precipitous, with both down by about one-quarter.
Western Australia (1.0 per cent) and Tasmania were the only states to register increases in job ads during October.
The majority of industries were looking for fewer candidates, with the sectors contributing most to the decline in healthcare and medical (-3.4 per cent), trades and services (-4.6 per cent) and hospitality and tourism (-11.6 per cent).
Accounting ads recorded one of the smallest declines, at -1.4 per cent, but the only sectors where candidate demand rose in October were farming, animals and conservation (up 1.3 per cent), consulting and strategy (1.9 per cent), and legal (2.0 per cent).
However, Seek said many industries were still advertising above historic levels, with volumes 16.6 per cent higher overall than October 2019.
“Many of the largest hiring industries still have historically high job ad volumes, despite many months of job ad decline, including trades and services, and manufacturing, transport and logistics, which are both 50 per cent or more higher than October 2019 volumes,” it said.
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