Australian job vacancies surge- that’s good for our economy and property

Job vacancies surged to now be 11.9% above pre-pandemic levels!J

New research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals total job vacancies have increased 23.4% in three months, and a staggering 97% in six months.

The number of available positions rose from 206,000 in August 2020 to 254,400 in November 2020. The figure includes private and public sector vacancies.Employment

Job vacancies bottomed out at 129,000 in May 2020.

Job vacancies have rebounded sharply for two consecutive quarters and are a strong signal that the pick-up in activity seen in the second half of last year has flowed through to an ongoing recovery in labour demand.

With Australia’s participation rate at its equal highest on record and with vacancy levels above pre-COVID levels it is quite likely that unemployment will fall more sharply than currently forecast by the RBA and Treasury.

This would be good news for the economy and our property markets would suggest the budget deficit could improve more quickly than expected


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Vacancies are now above pre-pandemic levels in all states bar Victoria.

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The Victorian result is surprising (on the upside) given the state was only starting to emerge from lockdown around the time of the survey.

By industry, vacancies are above pre-covid levels in almost all industries (administrative and support services the biggest outlier).

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These results are very encouraging

The sharp rebound in job vacancies over the past few quarters illustrates the rapid return of labour demand after the easing of restrictions and effective control of the virus, as well as most likely interstate and international border restrictions impacting the ability to fill positions in certain industries.

NAB Economists suggest that a historical correlation of job vacancies and the unemployment rate suggests the risk is the unemployment rate falls more sharply than forecast, even with the ongoing tapering of government support such as JobKeeper and JobSeeker.

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The trends do align with anecdotal reports that the JobSeeker payment may be encouraging some not to enter the labour market, though the participation rate has rebounded above pre-covid levels to be the equal highest on record.

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