Signifying a slowly rebounding economy, the Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) has recorded an monthly increase of 3.9%, or 4,900 job advertisements, in August 2020.  Job advertisements reached 133,400.

Medical and Personal Care continues to grow

Increased demand for community and personal service continues previously strong gains in this sector.  Last month, 1,400 job advertisements required nurses, therapy professionals and carers.

Consequently, despite major sectors such as retail, hospitality and tourism being suffocated by restrictions, growth in communal and personal care demand bodes well for jobseekers looking to transfer skills.

Further lockdown measures within Victoria has dragged on job growth, with the state down 45.7% on July. However, the trend in other states is more positive.  For instance, South Australia (SA) recorded a 10.2% increase, alongside a 10.6% increase in Western Australia (WA).

Western states have labour shortages

The index growth is closely correlated to relevant lockdown regulations in each state.  This suggests that, as economies begin to fully reopen, the job market is likely to follow suit.  This is exactly what we are seeing in WA and SA.

Anecdotally, many expat South and West Australians are returning home to chase better job prospects.  This reverses the long-term trend experienced since the end of the mining boom.

Businesses in regional WA towns are struggling to fill roles.  Some are even shutting down for this very reason – quite the opposite to what is happening in eastern states with 250,000 businesses surviving on Jobkeeper wage subsidies.

Primary industries rise again

In a welcome surprise, the agriculture workforce is now 12% larger than pre COVID levels.  Queensland is leading the mini jobs boom, followed by NSW.  WA and Tasmania have pockets of high demand as spring harvesting is in full swing and the traditional new migrant and overseas backpacker workforce is absent.

Nationally, construction employment is holding up with growth in NSW and WA offsetting losses in Queensland and Victoria.

Employment service providers exposed to these growth sectors stand to gain.  Convincing city based jobseekers to move to the country is more difficult.  However, as we have noted earlier, there are Government incentives available to nudge them into moving (Who-will-replace-migrant-workers).