Payroll jobs rebound in Greater Melbourne. Record job ads.

Payroll jobs & wages; SEEK job advertisements; Reserve Bank Governor speech

The Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported that national payroll jobs rose by 0.2 per cent over the fortnight to November 13 with total wages steady.

SEEK national job advertisements lifted 1.1 per cent in November to be up 50 per cent on a year ago. Record job ads were posted in Victoria, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania.

The Reserve Bank (RBA) Governor Philip Lowe delivered an online speech at The Payments Network Summit.

What does it all mean?

• The Aussie labour market is recovering after Delta lockdowns in Australia’s south-east. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) issued the latest high-frequency payrolls jobs and wages data today. Payroll jobs edged higher by 0.2 per cent in the fortnight to November 13 to be 2.4 per cent higher over the year. The easing of restrictions saw payroll jobs lift by 0.8 per cent in both Victoria and Greater Melbourne.

• But there were mixed outcomes elsewhere with payroll jobs down by 0.6 per cent in the Northern Territory in the fortnight to November 13. A Covid-19 outbreak and lockdowns centred around Katherine saw payroll jobs drop by 0.8 per cent in Greater Darwin and 0.4 per cent in the Rest of the Northern Territory.

• At an SA4 regional level, payroll jobs have bounced-back strongly in areas hardest-hit by Delta lockdowns in NSW. Between October 9 and November 13 (Greater Sydney’s lockdown ended October 11), payroll jobs jumped by 6.3 in Sydney – Inner South West and 5.8 per cent in Sydney – South West.

• And in Victoria, payroll jobs lifted in 15 out of 17 SA4 regions between October 23 and November 23 (Greater Melbourne’s lockdown ended October 21). In fact, payroll jobs rose by the most in the Mornington Peninsula (+3.6 per cent) and Melbourne – North West (+3.2 per cent). Payrolls were down however, in both Bendigo (-0.1 per cent) and Ballarat (-0.4 per cent).

• The latest measure of labour demand from online employment marketplace SEEK, released today, showed a 1.1 per cent increase in job ads in November, up for a third successive month. The gauge is 50 per cent higher on a year ago, hitting 23-year highs (since the series began).

• Record job ads were recorded in Victoria, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania in November. And despite an easing in job ads in both NSW and the ACT – after a surge in October – demand for customer-facing roles jumped in the Hospitality and Tourism (+7 per cent), Healthcare and Medical (+4.1 per cent), and the Trades and Services (+3.2 per cent) industries.

• Commonwealth Bank (CBA) Group economists expect next Thursday’s November labour force survey to show around 250,000 jobs added or reinstated nationally. The unemployment rate could fall from 5.2 per cent to 4.7 per cent with the participation rate up from 64.7 per cent to 65.5 per cent.

• Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe today delivered a speech at the Australian Payments Network Summit. Governor Lowe’s comments didn’t have any direct implications for monetary policy. But he was keen to highlight the key developments in Australia’s payments system, including the RBA’s views on the need for a central bank digital currency.

What do you need to know?

Payroll jobs & wages – Fortnight to November 13

• The Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today reported that national payroll jobs rose by 0.2 per cent over the fortnight to November 13. Payroll jobs are up 2.4 per cent on a year ago and up 4.7 per cent since March 14, 2020 when Australia recorded its 100th new Covid-19 case.

• Total national wages were steady over the fortnight to November 13 and were up 7.3 per cent on a year ago. Wages are up 7.6 per cent since March 14, 2020 when Australia recorded its 100th new Covid-19 case.

• By gender, female payroll jobs rose by 0.3 per cent over the fortnight to November 13, but male payroll jobs were 0.3 per cent lower.

• Payroll jobs worked by people aged 15-19 years increased by 2.1 per cent – the most of all age groups.

• By state and territory, the biggest payroll job gains were in the Victoria (+0.8 per cent), followed by the ACT (+0.3 per cent), South Australia (+0.1 per cent) and Tasmania (+0.1 per cent) over the fortnight to November 13. But payroll jobs were lower in the Northern Territory (-0.6 per cent), NSW (-0.1 per cent), Queensland (-0.1 per cent) and Western Australia (-0.1 per cent).

• By industry, payroll jobs increased by the most over the fortnight to November 13 in Arts and recreation services (+6.4 per cent), but fell by the most for Agriculture, forestry and fishing (-3 per cent).

SEEK job advertisements – November

• SEEK national jobs ads lifted 1.1 per cent in November to be up 50 per cent on a year ago. But applications per job ad fell by 9.4 per cent in November.

• Ads rose across six states and territories in November: NSW (-2.2 per cent); ACT (-1.9 per cent); Victoria (+3.6 per cent); Northern Territory (+4.3 per cent); Queensland (+3.3 per cent); South Australia (+1.9 per cent); Western Australia (+0.8 per cent); and Tasmania (+2.7 per cent).

• According to SEEK, “Demand for customer-facing roles grew, notably in the Hospitality & Tourism (+7 per cent), Healthcare and Medical (+4.1 per cent) and Trades and Services industries (+3.2 per cent).”
Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe speech: “Payments: The Future?”

• Reserve Bank (RBA) Governor Philip Lowe delivered a speech at the Payments Network Summit: “Payments: The Future?”

Governor Lowe was keen to highlight the following trends and developments in Australia’s payments system, including digital currencies, as follows:

• “The declining use of banknotes and the increasing use of electronic forms of payment.

• The greater use of digital wallets.

• The growing involvement of the ‘big techs’ in payments.

• The increasing specialisation within the payments value chain and the emergence of new business models.

• The growing community and political interest in the security, reliability and cost of payments.

• One possibility is that the tokens are issued by, and backed by, the RBA, just as we issue and back Australian dollar banknotes. This would be a form of retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) – or an eAUD.

• I have said previously that the RBA is open to this possibility. To date, though, we have not seen a strong public policy case to move in this direction, especially given Australia’s efficient, fast and convenient electronic payments system. It is possible, however, that the public policy case could emerge quite quickly as technology evolves and consumer preferences change.

• A third type of potential digital token is a cryptocurrency, not linked directly to the AUD or backed by a particular entity or assets.

• I remain sceptical that we will head in this direction for general purpose payments. It is likely that the asset used for the settlement of most transactions in the economy will remain some form of secure fiat currency with a stable value, rather than cryptocurrency with a volatile price.”

Payroll jobs rebound in Greater Melbourne. Record job ads.

Published by Ryan Felsman, Senior Economist, CommSec