Recruitment activity falls in response to COVID-19 restrictions

The Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) decreased a further 3.0%, or 7,200 job advertisements, in July 2021 to stand at 232,600. The IVI has now recorded two consecutive months of declining recruitment activity following job advertisements reaching a 12-year high in May 2021.

Recruitment activity nonetheless remains elevated across all occupations and skill level groups compared with levels observed before the COVID-19 downturn. The detailed IVI report for July 2021, released today, shows job advertisements are up 38.3% or 64,400 compared with pre-COVID-19 levels.

Key points

The effects of COVID-19 restrictions (particularly in New South Wales) on recruitment activity are clearly evident in the July 2021 IVI results.

  • Recruitment activity declined in six of the states and territories during July 2021, and remained steady in Tasmania.
  • New South Wales recorded the strongest fall in recruitment activity over the month, down by 10.3% (8,100 job advertisements).
  • Victoria recorded the only increase in job advertisements during July 2021 (up by 3.9%), after recording the strongest fall across states and territories in job advertisements in June 2021 (down by 4.2%) in response to a COVID-19 lockdown.

Job advertisements decreased in 34 of the 48 detailed occupational groups during July 2021.

  • Hospitality Workers recorded the largest fall over the month (down by 2,500 job advertisements or 32.4%), followed by Food Trades Workers (1,400 job advertisements or 20.4%) and General-Inquiry Clerks, Call Centre Workers, and Receptionists (770 job advertisements or 4.3%).
  • Within New South Wales, Hospitality Workers were the largest declining occupation over the month (down by 1,700 job advertisements or 65.6%), with recruitment activity for this occupation now 38.0% below pre-COVID-19 levels.

Similar to the initial impact of COVID-19 in early 2020, recruitment activity for lower skilled occupational groups has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

  • Despite accounting for only 37.9% of total job advertisements in June 2021, falls in recruitment activity for Skill Level 4 and 5 occupations made up 59.1% of the total decline over the month to July 2021.     

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