The employment market showed no sign of cooling down in the last month of summer with the latest data from SEEK Employment Trends delivering more good news for candidates.
Opportunities increased by 16.2% in February compared to the same time last year. Not only was this the ninth consecutive month of year-on-year double-digit growth, it was also a 2% lift from January as employers accelerated their hiring activity for 2018.
The positive results were shared across the country and all industries experienced a year-on-year increase in opportunities, except for Advertising, Arts and Media, which recorded a 7% decline and the average advertised salary was $75,968.
A boost for primary industries
The Mining, Resources and Energy industry delivered the most opportunities for candidates in February with year-on-year growth of 45%. In more good news for candidates, average advertised salaries across the industry are also rising again - the average recorded in February was $120,575.
Mining, Resources and Energy was among the highest performing industries in states such as Queensland and South Australia and its strong start to 2018 signals a promising year ahead for candidates in the industry.
Growth in Australia’s primary industries was also evident in the Farming, Animals and Conservation sector, which recorded year-on-year growth of 32% and the average advertised salary was $75,717. Kendra Banks, Managing Director of SEEK ANZ, says that while actual job numbers are still relatively low in the industry, the increase is significant for a sector facing a number of challenges.
“The increase in job ads across Victoria [40%], NSW [50%] and Western Australia [54%] reflects solid growth in some sectors, including sheep and wool, grain and cattle,” she says. “Australian farmers are getting older, with the latest survey data from the ABS finding the average farmer is 56-years-old. As such, it is not surprising that certain jobs are increasingly being outsourced due to both an aging workforce and to improve efficiency.”
More opportunities for engineers
Prospects for Engineering candidates rose by 25% in February compared to the same time last year and the average advertised salary was $105,661. The related field of Trades and Services saw the same year-on-year increase and the average advertised salary for the industry was $67,123.
Banks attributes much of the growth in opportunities to unprecedented levels of government investment in infrastructure. A recent ABS report shows that the value of work still in the pipeline of public sector infrastructure projects is at a record high.
“There are a number of key infrastructure projects underway across Australia, including the Perth-to-Forrestfield Airport Rail Link,” says Banks. “We are seeing particularly strong demand for engineering skills in Western Australia and job ads in this sector have increased 63% this month. Job growth in this sector is expected to continue.”
Going for gold
With the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games just around the corner, Australia’s Sports and Recreation industry flexed some muscle with year-on-year growth of 2% and an average advertised salary of $64,887.
Fitness is a key goal for Australians this year with research from CommBank showing Australians are set to spend more than $4.7 billion on health and fitness products in 2018. More than $700 million of this will be spent on health and fitness activities each month, and this may be fueling demand for coaching and instructor roles, which recorded a 20% year-on-year increase for the three-month period of December to February.
If you’re looking for your next role in sports management, your opportunities were also up by 12% over the same period, while prospects for fitness and personal trainers grew by 4%.
Job prospects across the country
No matter where you’re located, your opportunities were up in February compared to the same time last year.
Candidates in Tasmania saw the greatest lift in job ads on SEEK with a year-on-year increase of 34.9%. This was largely thanks to more opportunities in Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics, as well as administration and office support.
In New South Wales and Victoria year-on-year growth reached 13.3% and 19.1% respectively. The Farming, Animals and Conservation industry was among the top-growth industries for both states.
Opportunities for candidates in Queensland were up by 16.3% year-on-year while South Australia saw a lift of 17.4%. In Northern Territory, the 12% growth was primarily driven by growth in the Hospitality and Tourism industry. Meanwhile, a lift in the Government and Defence sector helped fuel a 17.5% growth in the ACT.
Summer may be over, but opportunities remain hot on SEEK. Will the double-digit growth continue throughout the year? We’ll keep you posted on the latest market moves.