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‘Influx’ of workers relieve hard-hit industries as job ads trend down

Victoria is pushing for a bigger pay rise than other states around Australia.

Victoria is pushing for a bigger pay rise than other states around Australia. Photo: Getty

Almost a year since Australia’s borders reopened, the latest job ads data shows the scramble for workers is slowing down.

Seek data for November shows national job ads fell almost -5 per cent from the month before, and an -8.2 per cent change from the same time last year.

Matt Cowgill, senior economist at Seek, said while job ads have decreased, they were still 37 per cent higher than pre-pandemic February 2020.

Although the downturn might spell the end of the jobs boom, which saw the number of job ads on Seek smash records every month for the first five months of this year, Mr Cowgill said it remained a job seekers’ market.

“We’ve clearly moved into a different phase, [but] it is still a great time to be looking for a job,” Mr Cowgill said.

The change in job ad numbers is a reflection of the country’s softening economic conditions which will drive up unemployment slightly over the next couple of years, he said.

The IT industry has seen the biggest job ad decline of -21.7 per cent over the past year, which comes as the tech sector hits hard times, with several high-profile layoffs over the past year such as buy-now-pay-later provider Klarna and mobile-ordering software provider Mr Yum.

Staff shortages over

While the downturn in job ads is a sign of tough times for the tech sector, for hospitality and tourism, it’s likely the opposite.

More international travellers on Australian shores are making a big difference for the sector, which has seen job ads fall more than 21 per cent year-on-year.

That is a big change for the sector, which was among the hardest-hit by labour shortages over the past three years.

Julia Ekman, owner of Melbourne-based Jumi’s Cafe, told The New Daily the pandemic made it challenging to keep her establishment fully-staffed, but things have been looking up over the past three months.

Lack of international visitors during the pandemic meant Ms Ekman was, at worst, five staff short of the 12 needed for the cafe to run smoothly.

This meant the cafe was forced to shorten opening hours, and only offer takeaway for a while, even after pandemic restrictions lifted.

“Before COVID, we used to get maybe 50 to 100 applications to a [job ad]. During the worst time, I got maybe two applications, whilst now in the last two months, we’ve started to get back up to 20, 30 [applicants] per ad,” Ms Ekman said.

“However, it is still a lot of limitations because a lot of these people have restrictions [on] how much they can work, and the skill level is not always necessarily there that’s required.

“But there’s definitely been an influx of employees.”

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