Each month we update this report to track the pandemic’s effects on the Australian labour market.
Australian job postings tapered off throughout April, reflecting a broad-based decline in postings nationwide. Nevertheless, posting volumes remain consistent with a further tightening of the Australian labour market in the months to come.
By the end of April, job postings were tracking 109% ahead of their level on February 1, 2020, our pre-pandemic baseline, after adjusting for seasonal trends. Postings declined by around 12% points during April but are still up slightly since the beginning of the year.
The April decline may partly reflect some residual seasonality due to Easter. While efforts are made to remove seasonality from our daily job tracker, Easter represents a unique challenge given the date changes every year.
Australian postings remain 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. Nevertheless, the picture has become murkier recently. Elevated inflation – associated with supply-chain disruptions and rising commodity prices – could hamper job creation, particularly now that interest rates are rising.
Decline in postings centred in New South Wales and Victoria
Around 80% of the decline in postings throughout April was driven by New South Wales and Victoria. Postings in New South Wales are now 117% above their level on February 1, 2020, down from 134% a month earlier. Meanwhile, Victorian postings are 115% above pre-pandemic levels, after declining from 124%.
Yet despite this, the demand for talent remains elevated nationwide, more than high enough to trigger falling unemployment in each and every state.
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 cleaning & sanitation and loading & stocking remain extraordinarily high and actually strengthened further in April, bucking the overall trend. Postings in cleaning & sanitation and loading & stocking occupations are 296% and 295% — or almost four-times — above their level on February 1, 2020.
Australia’s hospitality industry continues to recover, with postings for food preparation up 188% and hospitality & tourism roughly twice as high as pre-pandemic levels. Demand across hospitality has increased so rapidly that there are concerns over whether those jobs can be filled.
Beauty & wellness was the only job category where postings remained below pre-pandemic levels. The overall postings recovery also lags for veterinary and sport roles, while rising mortgage rates may weigh on an already weak recovery for real estate agents.
Remote jobs continue to be popular with employers and jobseekers
By the end of April, remote job postings accounted for around 10% of Australian job postings on Indeed, having fluctuated around that level since August last year. Remote postings, as a share of total job postings, is around 2.3-times as high as it was before the pandemic began.
Meanwhile, jobseekers remain keenly interested in remote work opportunities. Around 2.6% of jobseeker searches were for remote work in April, compared with 0.4% of searches in January and February 2020, before the pandemic began. Remote work remains one of the most popular search terms for jobseekers across the nation, having increased its search share consistently over the past two years.
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.