The latest Sunsuper Australian Job Index of job advertisements online has today revealed that despite gains in May and June, the index remains 40.3% below its January 2020 level.
Sunsuper’s Chief Economist, Brian Parker, said that while the improvements in job vacancies in May and June were a promising sign, the ongoing impacts of COVID, including renewed shutdowns, had employers nervous.
“The reintroduction of restrictions in Victoria and the risk of renewed restrictions elsewhere means the recovery in the labour market remains fragile,” said Mr Parker.
“Opportunities for both permanent and contingent employment still remain well below pre-COVID peaks; however, the recovery over May and June has been somewhat stronger for contingent work. Permanent job opportunities rose by just 5.2% in May and a more encouraging 10.5% in June, yet the recovery in contingent demand has been stronger, with gains of 19.5% in May and 9% in June.”
Mr Parker highlighted that when split by job type, unsurprisingly one of the better performing occupational categories was community and personal services.
“Demand fell just 3.7% over the quarter, driven by a remarkably bullish 37.7% rise in June, which coincided with the recommencement of elective surgery and the re-opening of allied medical businesses.
“Contingent opportunities for machine operators and drivers and labourers reported net gains over the quarter. While sales roles were the worst hit, down a massive 44.1% over the quarter.
“Machinery operators and drivers were the only occupational group to experience a rise in permanent job opportunities in the quarter (19.4%).
“All industry groups reported declining opportunities over the June quarter. The strongest performing sector was mining, construction and utilities, reporting a decline of just 3.2% over the quarter with commodity prices and demand remaining strong.
“Opportunities in healthcare and public administration and safety also reported relatively modest declines of around 14% over the June quarter, and retail and wholesale job opportunities reported the largest decline (down 45.9%).
“June saw quite a significant bounce back in financial and insurance services opportunities (38%).
The Sunsuper Australian Job Index also found that New South Wales has seen the most significant decline in permanent job opportunities (down 32.4%) while Victoria had the highest fall in contingent job vacancies (33.8%).
“With such a strong focus on tourism, one might have expected Queensland’s falls to have been above the national norm. But this has not been the case. This may be because of the time of year that the virus spread. Queensland’s strength in the resources sector may also have helped soften the impact.”
The Sunsuper Australian Job Index is the first and only Australian jobs report to split data between permanent and contingent (i.e. temporary, fixed-term contract and casual) job vacancies. For a full copy of the report, visit sunsuper.com.au/australianjobindex