Job vacancies surge 23 per cent

Job vacancies surge 23 per cent

The recovery cycle is picking up speed in Australia with the latest data showing job vacancies rose by more than 23 per cent in the November quarter, with the sharpest increases seen in the ACT (62 per cent), Tasmania (53 per cent) and NSW (35 per cent).

In absolute terms NSW accounted for two out of every five additional job vacacines since the August quarter, and almost a third of the 254,400 jobs on offer when the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) conducted its survey.

Compared to the same time in 2019, Australia's job vacancies were 12 per cent higher.

"Job vacancies rose by 48,000 in the November 2020 quarter, following the sharp rise of 77,000 in August, as COVID-related restrictions continued to be relaxed across Australia," says ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis.

"There were 254,000 job vacancies in November, which was higher than the pre-COVID level in February. This reflected the pace of recovery in labour demand in the second half of the year and labour shortages in some industries."

Job vacancies in the private sector increased by 24 per cent over the quarter, and by 17 per cent in the public sector. Private sector vacancies in November were around 13 per cent above February, compared with 1 per cent for public sector vacancies.

In original series terms, quarterly increases in vacancies were seen in all states and territories. Victoria was the only state with vacancies below its February level but the state still showed an almost 28 per cent improvement on August.

The health care and social assistance industry saw the biggest job vacancy rise in absolute terms, up 9,300 or 33 per cent to 37,700 vacancies, while other sectors to experience high rates of growth were accommodation and food services (+66 per cent; 8,900 more vacancies) and retail (+39 per cent; 7,200 more vacancies).

Off a low base, vacancy numbers in the arts and recreation services industry more than tripled to around 4,000, having risen from close to nothing in May; the only sector in the survey with that distinction since the pandemic began.

Today's news follows encouraging November retail sales figures that wer ereleased by the ABS earlier this week, which has been in reflected in the sales reporting of a few ASX-listed retailers already.

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