Fire-Related Job Searches Surge as Australia Burns
As devastating bushfires rage across the country, Australians have responded as they always do in crisis: by banding together and doing what they can to help. Many want to be on the frontline, with job search for firefighter roles reaching a record high.
Australia’s unprecedented bushfire season has left many Australians feeling understandably helpless. Many have responded by donating money or food or shelter, while others want to be on the frontline, face-to-face with the fires that have devastated the Australian countryside.
At Indeed, there has been a surge in searches for fire-related jobs. Australians are searching in record numbers for jobs as firefighters or searching directly for the Rural Fire Service. Searches for fire-related jobs are up 50% since Christmas and 80% since November.
It is much too late to train volunteers and get them on the frontlines to fight these fires. Volunteer firefighters are highly skilled and well-trained. But record interest may pave the way for a greater number of volunteers next year and beyond. And with climate change contributing to more frequent and severe weather events the burden placed on our existing volunteer firefighters has never been greater.
We define fire-related job searches as those which used common fire-related terms, including, but not limited to, ‘fire’, ‘firefighter’, ‘fire engineer’, and ‘rural fire service’. Job searches were analysed on a daily basis, using a seven-day moving average to smooth the data.
Callam Pickering is an Economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab with a focus on Australia. Previously he was an economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia focusing on household spending and house prices. He also worked as the economic editor at online publications the Business Spectator and Eureka Report where he covered economic issues relating to Australia. Callam earned a Bachelor of economics and Accounting from Monash University.