Job ad figures are climbing after suffering a massive COVID-induced blow but the road to recovery is not the same across all states and territories.
Job ad figures are climbing after suffering a massive COVID-induced blow but the road to recovery is not the same across all states and territories.

State job markets recovering the fastest

The Australian job market is gradually returning to pre-COVID levels, however the race to recovery is not equal among all states and territories.

According to SEEK's August Employment Report, there are three distinct rates in which states and territories are recovering. Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory have either fully rebounded or were at levels comparable with August 2019, with the job market in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory also remaining steady.

However, the Victorian job market showed a more dire result.

Impacted by the strict lockdown which has been in effect since July 7, the state reported a stark 17.6 per cent drop in job ads from July 2020 to August 2020 and a year-on-year dip of 56.1 per cent. This was also on top of a 12.8 per cent fall between June 2020 and July 2020.

"Victoria experienced a further decline in job ads in August, as we continue to see the impact of the lockdown on businesses," said SEEK's Managing Director Kendra Banks in a statement to news.com.au. "However, this is less than the drop Victoria had throughout the country's first wave of COVID-19, which indicates businesses are finding new ways to operate and adapt to the situation."

There are reports up to $23 billion has been lost from the Victorian economy due to coronavirus with many retail stores closing down due to the strict lockdowns. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Matray.
There are reports up to $23 billion has been lost from the Victorian economy due to coronavirus with many retail stores closing down due to the strict lockdowns. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Matray.

Nationally, although August was the first month since the beginning of the pandemic which saw job ads decline by 2 per cent, this was mainly driven by Victorian numbers. Excluding Victoria, the total amount of job ads actually rose by 1.8 per cent.

AUGUST JOB AD VOLUMES BY EACH STATE

- Western Australia, up 7.9 per cent month-on-month, up 4.2 per cent year-on-year

- South Australia, up 8.5 per cent month-on-month, up 3 per cent year-on-year

- Tasmania, up 7.8 per cent month-on-month, up 2.7 per cent year-on-year

- Northern Territory, up 9.2 per cent month-on-month, down .07 per cent year-on-year

- Queensland, down 1.2 per cent month-on-month, down 14.2 per cent year-on-year

- Australian Capital Territory, down 3.9 per cent month-on-month, down 22.1 per cent year-on-year

- New South Wales, up 1.7 per cent month-on-month, down 30.6 per cent year-on-year

- Victoria, down 17.6 per cent month-on-month, down 56.1 per cent year-on-year

- Australia, down 2 per cent month-on-month, down 29.1 per cent year-on-year

The silver lining to SEEK’s August Employment Report is that all states and territories have recovered since their lowest point in April during the onset of the pandemic. Picture: iStock.
The silver lining to SEEK’s August Employment Report is that all states and territories have recovered since their lowest point in April during the onset of the pandemic. Picture: iStock.

When it came to which industries were looking for new hires, healthcare and medical, information and communication technology and manufacturing, transport and logistics topped the list.

Human resources and recruitment, and banking and financial services also rose by 12 and 7 per cent. Some of the in-demand positions listed in these sectors include compliance and risk officers, retail and branch members and financial planners.

However, it was the advertising arts and media industry which showed the largest month-on-month growth of 16 per cent. This news comes after the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed in April 2020 that the arts and recreation sector was the worst hit by shutdowns. At the time, research from the Grattan Institute estimated the unemployment rate for those employed in the creative and performing arts sector could rise to 75 per cent. This figure nearly tripled the national estimate that 26 per cent of the Australian workforce would lose their jobs due to the COVID-19 shutdowns.

Currently, Australia is in recession for the first time since 1974 with the Reserve Bank of Australia estimating unemployment to peak at 10 per cent.

This article was created in partnership with SEEK.

Originally published as State job markets recovering the fastest