The Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association’s (RCSA) latest Jobs Report revealed the National Jobs Index has dipped for the second time in a row, falling 2.1% over the September Quarter. The data collected from over 6,000 employer, recruiter and niche job boards also showed a dip in demand for both Permanent and Flexible staff.

“This minor softening in demand is no cause for concern, says RCSA CEO Charles Cameron.

“The Australian job market has shown incredible resilience against economic challenges, nationally and globally. The data suggests we are in a re-adjustment phase. All things considering, the market appears to be very healthy. Unemployment has only slipped 0.2% in the past year.”

The data is promising after concerns the Australian jobs market could follow the same trajectory as New Zealand where we saw a massive 10.8% retraction in job opportunities in the second quarter of this year.

“With immigration flowing again and more workforce participation post covid, employment in Australia has risen considerably. In saying that, we still have acute skills shortages in many sectors, especially nursing, aged and childcare,” says Cameron.

Immigration appears to be helping to plug some of those gaps and easing demand. In the past three months postings for Healthcare and Social Assistance workers decreased 8.4%.

Another positive sign is that the latest data indicates employers are still keen to lock in permanent staff, rather than maintain flexibility with a non-permanent workforce. In the past three months, advertising for permanent jobs only dropped 1.3% while ads for flexible, temporary and contract workers dipped 5.6%. In the past year demand for flexible workers has decreased 10.5% whereas opportunities for permanent positions rose 4.2%.

“This data shows business confidence across the country is strong. When employers are nervous, they traditionally favour a flexible workforce so they can scale their operations up and down to suit the climate. The continued strength of permanent work opportunities is likely because employers are looking to lock in talent in a skill short market.”

The industry where we saw the biggest peak in demand for staff was in Food and Accommodation. Job postings increased 19.9% in the last quarter. The seasonally adjusted data indicates a higher-than-normal drive in hiring ahead of summer. The biggest decline was in Education and Training. The dip was unexpected after healthy levels of demand over the past 10 months.

Key Statistics – advertised jobs:

  • Accommodation and Food Services, up 19.9%
  • Education and Training jobs down 26.1%
  • Healthcare and Social Assistance down 8.4%
  • Manufacturing and Distribution up 12.2%
  • Mining, Construction and Utilities up 7.2%
  • Health, Education and Community Professionals down 10.6%
  • Technology Professional down 15.2%
  • Clerical and Administration down 8.2%

The Jobs Report can be viewed in full here