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Interest rate increase ‘to quash seasonal hiring spike’

Business

Declining consumer confidence will take the wind out of the usual Christmas jobs demand, says Employment Hero.

By Philip King 10 minute read

The RBA’s latest rate increase combined with declining consumer confidence will flatten the seasonal job hiring spike this Christmas, according to payroll software specialist Employment Hero.

CEO Ben Thompson said workers grappling with inflation now faced the prospect of fewer job opportunities or reduced hours. 

“It is likely we will still see seasonality hiring drop off over the summer trading period compared to the same time last year as businesses seek to recoup losses,” he said.

The latest Employment Hero data for September showed staff growth of 6.6 per cent across Australia with increases in every state. But the September rise was small and seasonal hiring was expected to be weaker than last year, it said.

SMEs in retail, hospitality and tourism saw the largest monthly increase of 0.5 per cent, ahead of healthcare and community services, and manufacturing, transport and logistics which both saw a 0.4 per cent rise.

According to the SME Index, median hourly wages increased by 0.6 per cent for the month and by 7.6 per cent over the last year, to $37.48.

The latest job ad figures from website Seek reinforced the hiring downturn with job ads dropping 5 per cent in October just as applications in the previous month jumped more than 4 per cent.

Seek managing director for Australia New Zealand, Kendra Banks, said the fall in ads was accelerating.

“After months of incremental decline, job ads recorded a larger seasonally adjusted decline in October, down 5 per cent month-on-month,” she said.

“Nationally, a fall in job ads in hospitality and tourism was the biggest contributor to the overall decline, followed by trades and services, and healthcare and medical.

“Applications per job ad continue to rise as job ad volumes fall, up 4.1 per cent in September, with almost every industry recording higher application rates month-on-month.”

Demand for accounting positions recorded the smallest month-on-month fall of just 1.4 per cent compared with September.

Annually, accounting job ads are down by 12.8 per cent for the 12 months to October compared with the same period the year before, a smaller decline than for other sectors except trades and services (down 11.9 per cent) and healthcare (down 10.9 per cent).

Accounting job ads also declined less than the 19.9 per cent annual fall in job ads nationally.

Across Australia, the most marked declines in job ads were in NSW, down 5.1 per cent, and Victoria, down 6.8 per cent. The Northern Territory and Queensland recorded modest month-on-month falls of 0.2 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively.

Seek application data trails job ads data by one month. The Employment Hero SME Index uses an accumulative dataset of over 150,000 small and medium-sized businesses and 1.5 million employees.

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Philip King

Philip King

AUTHOR

Philip King is editor of Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, the leading sources of news, insight, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Philip joined the titles in March 2022 and brings extensive experience from a variety of roles at The Australian national broadsheet daily, most recently as motoring editor. His background also takes in spells on diverse consumer and trade magazines.

You can email Philip on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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