COVID-19 Delta outbreak continues to affect recruitment activity

Media Release


The current COVID-19 Delta Outbreak has continued to hamper recruitment activity through August 2021, with recruitment activity declining in five states and territories, according to today’s release of the detailed Internet Vacancy Index (IVI).

The IVI decreased by 5.6%, or 12,800 job advertisements, in August 2021 to stand at 216,000, recording its third consecutive month of declining recruitment activity following job advertisements reaching a 12-year high in May 2021.

Despite recent falls, the level of recruitment activity across all jurisdictions remains above pre-COVID-19 levels. Nationally job advertisements are up by 28.4% (or 47,800 job advertisements) compared to levels observed prior to the pandemic.

Key points

  • Job advertisements decreased in 44 of the 48 detailed occupational groups during August 2021, though almost all remain above their pre-COVID-19 level of recruitment activity.
    • General-Inquiry Clerks, Call Centre Workers, and Receptionists recorded the largest fall over the month (down by 1,100 job advertisements or 6.5%), followed by Hospitality Workers (1,100 job advertisements or 19.9%) and Sales Assistants and Salespersons (1,100 job advertisements or 10.0%).
  • Similar to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, recruitment activity for lower skilled occupational groups has been disproportionately impacted by recent COVID-19 restrictions.
    • Despite accounting for only 37.8% of total job advertisements in May 2021, falls in recruitment activity for Skill Level 4 and 5 occupations made up 60.0% of the total decline in recruitment activity over the three months to August 2021.     

The August 2021 Vacancy Report detailed results are now available on the Labour Market Information Portal (LMIP).


National Skills Commissioner, Adam Boyton, is available for written response media enquiries on the Internet Vacancy Index.

The IVI is the only publicly available source of detailed data on online vacancies, including for around 350 occupations (at all skill levels), as well as for the states/territories and 37 regions. The IVI is based on a count of online job advertisements newly lodged on SEEK, CareerOne and Australian Job Search during the month. As such, the IVI does not reflect the total number of job advertisements in the labour market as it does not include jobs advertised through other online job boards, employer websites, word of mouth, in newspapers, and advertisements in shop windows. The IVI also does not take account of multiple positions being advertised in a single job advertisement.