6min read
PREVIOUS ARTICLE CBA CEO asks customers for com... NEXT ARTICLE Adani submits rail line concep...

Tassie skilled job ads hit 6½-year highRecord-high job vacancies for Healthcare workers
Skilled job vacancies
Skilled vacancies: The Internet Vacancy Index rose by 0.6 per cent in August – the strongest growth rate in six months. The index is 4.5 per cent higher than a year ago – still near six-year highs.
Tassie jobs surge: The Tasmania Internet Vacancy Index rose by 1.2 per cent in August. Vacancies are up by 17.7 per cent from a year ago. The Index is at 6½-year highs at 60.1 points.
Healthcare skills shortage: The Internet Vacancy Index for Health Diagnostic and Therapy Professionals is at a record-high 275.6 points in August, up by 13.9 per cent over the year. Job vacancies for Medical Practitioners and Nurses are at two-year highs at 219.4 points, up by 5.2 per cent over the year. And Health and Welfare Support Workers’ skilled job vacancies are hovering near record-high levels at 181.5 points. 
What does it all mean?
The Tassie economy is performing well, supported by robust household consumption, home building, business investment, public infrastructure spending and population growth.
The Apple Isle’s nation-leading business conditions are evidenced by the strengthening of activity in the tourism industry. In fact, 1.3 million tourists visited Tasmania in 2017, up by eight per cent from the previous year, with spending totalling around $2.3 billion according to the Tourism Industry Council. And more recent data from the Parks and Wildlife Service shows tourist visitation rose by seven per cent in 2017/18 to 1.4 million visitors.
A strengthening in new hotel building and refurbishments are being complemented by government-funded upgrades to airports. The Tasmanian Office of the Co-ordinator General has estimated that there are currently $1.1 billion of hotel projects in the pipeline, adding 4,182 new hotel rooms to cater for rising tourist demand.
And population growth is relatively strong compared to the past. Tasmania’s population growth of 0.6 per cent in 2016/17 is the fastest growth rate in six years. Hobart’s population growth is even stronger at 1.1 per cent, resulting in the strongest annual home price growth across the country at 10.7 per cent to August, according to CoreLogic data.
With such strong population growth and improving economic activity it is little wonder that skilled job vacancies are the strongest since December 2011. And Hobart job ads are the best in 3½ years. Where are the Tassie skills shortages? Vacancies for electro-technology and telecommunications trades’ workers in Hobart are at record highs.
Over the year to August, skilled shortages remain most acute across Australia for Information and Communication Technology Professionals (up by 12.4 per cent) and Automotive and Engineering Trade Workers (up by 16.3 per cent). But it’s in the Healthcare sector where record vacancies emerged in August. Vacancies for Health Diagnostic and Therapy Professionals rose by 13.9 per cent over the year to record highs. Health and Welfare Support Workers’ vacancies are also near record highs.
What do the figures show?Skilled Vacancies
The Department of Jobs and Small Business Internet Vacancy Index rose by 0.6 per cent in August – the strongest growth rate in six months. The index is up by 4.5 per cent over the year to August – near six-year highs.
Job vacancies rose in five of the eight occupational groups in August. Increases were recorded for Technicians & Trade Workers (up by 0.7 per cent), Professionals (up by 0.5 per cent), Sales Workers (up by 0.3 per cent), Clerical and Administrative Workers (up by 0.2 per cent) and Community & Personal Service Workers (up by 0.1 per cent). Falls in vacancies occurred for Managers (down by 0.3 per cent), Machinery Operators and Drivers (down by 0.2 per cent) and Labourers (down by 0.1 per cent).
Job vacancies increased in four of the states and territories in August: Tasmania (up by 1.2 per cent), New South Wales (up by 0.7 per cent), Victoria (up by 0.5 per cent) and the ACT (up by 0.1 per cent). Vacancies were flat in Queensland, but fell in the Northern Territory (down 1.1 per cent), South Australia (down 0.2 per cent) and Western Australia (down 0.1 per cent).
Over the year to August, job advertisements rose in six of the eight occupational groups, with the strongest gains recorded for Professionals (up by 8.5 per cent), Technicians and Trades Workers (up by 7.7 per cent), Clerical and Administrative Workers (up by 6.2 per cent), Managers (up by 4.0 per cent), Machinery Operators and Drivers (up by 3.8 per cent) and Community & Personal Service Workers (up by 3.2 per cent). A decrease in job advertisements was recorded for Sales Workers (down by 5.4 per cent) and Labourers (down by 4.8 per cent).
Over the year to August, job advertisements increased in five states and territories with Tasmania recording the strongest rise (up by 17.7 per cent), followed by Western Australia (up by 13.4 per cent), Victoria (up by 8.7 per cent), New South Wales (up by 3.2 per cent) and the ACT (up by 0.7 per cent). Decreases in job advertisements were recorded in the Northern Territory (down by 4.1 per cent) and South Australia (down by 2.2 per cent).
Over the year to August, in three-month average terms, job vacancies increased in 26 of the 37 regions covered by the Department of Jobs & Small Business. The strongest rises were recorded in Regional Northern Territory (up by 22.5 per cent), Pilbara & Kimberley (up by 17.8 per cent) and the Goldfields & Southern Western Australia (up by 17.4 per cent). The strongest decreases in vacancies were recorded in Tamworth and North-West New South Wales (down by 22.1 per cent), Yorke Peninsula & Clare Valley (down by 18.8 per cent) and Port Augusta & Eyre Peninsula (down by 15.3 per cent).
Six of the eight capital city regions recorded increases in job vacancies over the year to August. Hobart and South-East Tasmania recorded the strongest gains (up by 15.2 per cent),followed by Perth (up by 13.2 per cent), Melbourne (up by 8.3 per cent), Canberra and the ACT (up by 4.1 per cent), Brisbane (up by 3.0 per cent) and Sydney (up by 2.2 per cent). But job vacancies fell in Darwin (down 7.2 per cent) and Adelaide (down by 0.7 per cent).
What is the importance of the economic data?
The Department of Jobs & Small Business releases a monthly Internet Vacancy Index. The index is based on a count of online job advertisements newly lodged on three main job boards (SEEK, CareerOne and Australian JobSearch) during the month. The index is the only publicly available source of detailed data for online vacancies, including around 350 occupations (at all skill levels), as well as for all states/territories and 37 regions.
What are the implications for interest rates and investors?
The Aussie job creation machine is supporting consumer spending and confidence. Conditions in the labour market have improved in recent months after a ‘soft patch’ earlier this year. Boom states New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have led the way with job gains over the year to August, contributing to 266,500 jobs out of total Australian jobs of 306,400.
But it’s Tasmania and Western Australia that are leading when it comes to job vacancies, signalling a further improvement in both labour markets. This is good news given that both states have generally had the highest unemployment rates across the nation.
Overall skilled job vacancies are hovering around the highest level in six years and skilled job shortages are emerging in some industries. The relationship between leading job market indicators, employment growth and the transmission to wages growth remains key to the improving Australian economic backdrop.
CommSec expects official interest rates to remain stable until late 2019.
Published by Ryan Felsman, Senior Economist, CommSec