CANBERRA, AAP – The recent spate of labour market indicators suggest fears that the end of the JobKeeper program would cause a major hiccup in Australia’s impressive employment recovery are overblown.
And Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s big spending, jobs focused budget this week aims to keep it that way.
The successful JobKeeper wage subsidy that was introduced during the height of the pandemic ended in March.
But job advertiser SEEK’s latest employment report shows demand for workers remains at record levels.
It shows job ads jumped 11.9 per cent in April, a second consecutive month of record postings.
Compared to a year ago when the economy was in recession, jobs ads are now a staggering 263.7 per cent higher – while for a more meaningful comparison, they were up 30.9 per cent compared to April 2019.
“Traditionally at this time of year we would be talking about a quieter employment market due to the impact of the Easter holidays on recruitment,” SEEK ANZ managing director Kendra Banks said.
“The COVID bounce-back continues at pace, particularly in small- and medium-sized businesses. Many of the jobs currently being advertised are for roles that were displaced in the (past) year.”
However, applications per ad have fallen to their lowest level since 2012.
In February applications per ad were 28.7 per cent lower than in February 2020 and dropped by a further 13.8 per cent in March.
“The reasons for this include workers continuing to display a more cautious attitude to the job market, and the reduced labour supply impacting the ability to fill roles,” Ms Banks said.
Preliminary vacancy figures produced earlier this week by the National Skills Commission also showed job ads posted on the internet rose for a 12th consecutive month.
At the same time, the Australian Bureau of Statistics payroll jobs report showed employment rose 0.4 per cent in the fortnight to April 24, although the ABS said it was still difficult at this stage to gauge whether there has been any JobKeeper impact given the timing of Easter.
The report is a precursor to the full jobs data release for April due next Thursday.