The number of job vacancies in Australia has increased by 23 percent over the November 2020 quarter, according to new seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
On an annual basis, job vacancies were a surprising 12 percent higher than in November 2019, prior to Covid-19 being a factor.
Bjorn Jarvis, head of Labour Statistics at the ABS, said: “Job vacancies rose by 48,000 in the November 2020 quarter, following the sharp rise of 77,000 in August, as Covid-related restrictions continued to be relaxed across Australia.
Reflects the pace of recovery in labour demand
“There were 254,000 job vacancies in November, which was higher than the pre-Covid level in February. This reflected the pace of recovery in labour demand in the second half of the year and labour shortages in some industries.”
Job vacancies in the private sector increased by 24 percent over the quarter and by 17 percent in the public sector over the same period. Private sector vacancies in November were around 13 percent above February, compared with 1 percent above February for public sector vacancies.
In original series terms, quarterly increases in vacancies were seen in all states and territories. Victoria was the only state with vacancies below its February level.
The three industries with the largest percentage increases in job vacancies in the November 2020 quarter were all industries that saw large falls in May, during the peak of the pandemic-related restrictions: Arts and Recreation Services; Accommodation and Food Services; and Retail Trade.
One in six employers had insufficient workers
The rise in job vacancies in November follows the release of the ABS ‘Business Impacts of Covid-19’ report in December, which highlighted that around one in six employers did not have a sufficient number of employees, based on their current operations.
The ABS tracks job vacancies – the number of jobs currently advertised – via online electronic collection and phone surveys. Data is not recorded on jobs that relate to private households employing staff, or to positions available in the Australian Defence Force.
According to figures released by the ABS in mid-December, Australia’s unemployment rate has dropped to 6.8 percent on the back of a strong jobs market recovery in Victoria.