Labour Market Update March 2022 quarter
Job advertisements grew and were spread across a larger proportion of employers looking to recruit
Job advertisements captured in the NSC’s Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) data, have fully recovered after falling at the start of the pandemic. Figure 6 shows that job advertisements reached their highest levels since 2008 in March 2022, to stand at 282,400. The level of recruitment activity remains significantly elevated compared to pre-COVID levels1, with job advertisements up by 67.8% (or 114,100 job advertisements).
Recent trends in ABS Job Vacancies data reflect similar movements to the IVI data. The most recent ABS data recorded 423,500 job vacancies in the February 2022 quarter2, representing an increase of 27,300 job vacancies (or 6.9%) over the quarter. Over the same period (November 2021 to February 2022), the IVI recorded an increase of 7.0% in job advertisements.
Figure 6: Internet Vacancy Index job advertisements and unemployment rate, January 2006 to March 2022
Source: NSC, Internet Vacancy Index, March 2022 and ABS, Labour Force, Australia, March 2022, seasonally adjusted data.
Recent results from the NSC’s Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey (REOS) reinforce the strength of labour demand suggested by growth in internet job advertisements.
Figure 7 shows that the proportion of employers recruiting (currently or in the past month) stood at 56% in March 2022, the highest level recorded since the survey commenced in June 2020 and an increase of 5 percentage points since December 2021. Over this same period the recruitment rate in capital cities (53%) and rest of state areas (61%) increased by 5 and 6 percentage points respectively.
Figure 7: Proportion of employers currently recruiting or who recruited in the past month
Source: NSC, Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey, March 2022
Turnover remains the primary reason for employers to recruit, with 65% of employers recruiting for turnover only (the highest level recorded since the survey commenced in June 2020) and a further 10% recruiting for a mix of both turnover and new roles.
Recent months have seen growth in both labour demand and employers’ difficulty filling vacancies
Over 2021 and into 2022, the growth in labour demand as recorded by IVI and REOS has also contributed to a reduction in the number of unemployed persons per job vacancy (see Figure 8 below) and an increase in the proportion of employers who have reported difficulty filling their vacancies.
Figure 8: Unemployed persons per job vacancy, February 2006 to February 2022
Source: NSC Internet Vacancy Index, March 2022; ABS, Labour Force, Australia, February 2022, seasonally adjusted data; ABS, Job Vacancies, Australia, February 2022, seasonally adjusted data
Figure 9 shows that the surge in online job ads in early 2021, and again more recently since August 2021, is reflected in increases in the recruitment difficulty rate during those periods.
Figure 9: Recruitment difficulty (3-month moving average) and IVI (seasonally adjusted)
Source: NSC, Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey, March 2022; Internet Vacancy Index, March 2022