Australian job ads post highest number in 12 years

The number of job openings in March reached 238,700, rising for 11 straight months, according to the National Skills Commission.
By: | April 15, 2021
Topics: Australia | News | Recruitment

The figure marked an increase of 38,200 job ads from February, representing a 19.1% rise, and signaling a country-wide shortage of workers. 

The number of vacancies in March were nearly double of that one year ago. 

By state, job ads increased the most in Western Australia, rising by 23.9% in March month-on-month. This was followed by Tasmania at 19.9% and Victoria at 19.7%. The figures for the other states were: New South Wales (16.8%); Queensland (15.6%); South Australia (14.7%); Northern Territory (10.5%) and ACT (6.0%).  

On a year-on-year basis, Tasmania had the highest job ad growth of 179.6%.  

By sector and on a year-on-year comparison, industrial had the largest increase in job ad growth of 29.1%, followed by construction (24.9%), the public sector (21.7%) and consumer services (17.6%), while the professional sector saw a negative growth of 10.1%. 

The agriculture sector has also faced a labour shortage in recent months due to border closures. “Backpackers are vital for our sector, and if they are not able to get here, crops like citrus, stone fruit and vegetables may not be able to picked to their full capacity,” said NSW Farmers Horticulture Committee chair Guy Gaeta, adding that March and April formed the “crunch time” for farmers as the country enters the summer season. 

READ: Australian government against minimum wage raise

The anticipated drop in production is expected to push up consumer prices, with horticulture produce being the hardest-hit, according to the Department of Agriculture’s December 2020 commodities report. “Prices of summer vegetables, stone fruit, pome fruit and table grapes are forecast to rise by between 15% and 25%,” the report stated, according to Yahoo Finance.