Each month we update this report to track the pandemic’s effects on the Australian labour market.
Australian job postings continued their upward surge in March, driven by strong growth in New South Wales, suggesting that Australia’s labour market is going to tighten further in the months to come.
By the end of March, job postings were tracking 121% ahead of their level on February 1, 2020, our pre-pandemic baseline, after adjusting for seasonal trends. Postings have increased almost 10% points during March and are up 14% points since the end of last year.
Australian postings are high by international standards, with growth well above the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. While recruitment activity has been strong in each of these markets, Australia has consistently overperformed with our recovery beginning earlier and remaining stronger despite regular COVID-19 lockdowns.
Overall, strong postings indicate that the Australian labour market will continue to tighten in the coming months, building on an already impressive economic recovery. While the omicron variant has been disruptive to Australian businesses – most notably via record sick leave applications – it doesn’t appear to have any meaningful impact on hiring trends.
Smaller states driving postings growth
Postings growth in March was primarily driven by New South Wales, with smaller contributions from Victoria and Western Australia. Postings in New South Wales are now 134% above their level on February 1, 2020, rising 15.7% points in March alone. Meanwhile, Victorian postings are 124% and Western Australian postings are 120% above pre-pandemic levels, respectively.
Overall, the demand for talent is elevated nationwide, even in states such as South Australia and Tasmania where posting growth hasn’t been quite as strong.
Demand for workers much higher in some occupations than others
While postings for most occupational groups are well above pre-pandemic levels, outcomes still vary considerably between the best performing and worst performing occupations.
Worker demand in areas such as loading & stocking, cleaning & sanitation and logistic support remain extraordinarily high and only strengthened further in March. Postings in loading & stocking and cleaning & sanitation occupations are 291% and 286% above their level on February 1, 2020, respectively. Logistic support, at 269%, isn’t far behind.
Australia’s hospitality industry continues to recover, with postings for food preparation up 181% compared with pre-pandemic levels and hospitality & tourism postings now up 104% – having recovered strongly since economic restrictions in New South Wales and Victoria were lifted in October.
The recovery continues to lag for veterinary and beauty & wellness occupations – they were the only two occupations where postings remain below pre-pandemic levels. The recovery for sport postings has also been slow, while physicians & surgeon postings are up only 35%
Remote jobs continue to be popular with employers and jobseekers
In March, remote job postings remained elevated across Australia, accounting for around 10% of overall job postings. It’s been fluctuating around that level since August last year and remains well above pre-pandemic levels.
Jobseekers remain keenly interested in remote work opportunities. Around 2.5% of jobseeker searches were for remote jobs in March, compared with 0.4% of searches in January / February 2020 before the pandemic began. Remote work remains one of the most popular search terms for jobseekers across Australia.
While there is still great uncertainty surrounding what the post-pandemic workforce will look like, the persistently high rate of remote job postings and the equally high interest from jobseekers certainly suggests that remote work will remain a part of our lives for the foreseeable future.
All posting figures in this blog post are derived from seasonally-adjusted job postings. We seasonally adjust each series based on historical patterns in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Each series, including the national trend, occupational sectors and sub-national geographics is seasonally adjusted separately. We adopted this new methodology in January 2021.
The national and regional analysis is based on the percentage change in job postings since February 1, 2020, our pre-pandemic baseline.
We identify job postings as open to remote work if the job title or description include terms like “remote work”, “telecommute”, “work from home”, or similar terms, or if the location is explicitly listed as remote. Remote searches are determined by jobseekers directly using remote keywords in their job search.
The number of job postings on Indeed.com, whether related to paid or unpaid job solicitations, is not indicative of potential revenue or earnings of Indeed, which comprises a significant percentage of the HR Technology segment of its parent company, Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd. Job posting numbers are provided for information purposes only and should not be viewed as an indicator of performance of Indeed or Recruit. Please refer to the Recruit Holdings investor relations website and regulatory filings in Japan for more detailed information on revenue generation by Recruit’s HR Technology segment.