More jobs in Sydney & Melbourne

A  look at the quarterly ABS Jobs Vacancies released  last Thursday shows a rise of  1.1%

The studious recovery continued this quarter with total job vacancies in February 2015 of 151,600 representing an increase of 1.1 per cent from November 2014.

Note that the survey was suspended between May 2008 and November 2009, so you’ll have to visualise what happened during that time, though you’ll intuitively know that it wasn’t a great time for employment generally!

State versus state

The lift over the last quarter was driven by gains in New South Wales (+6,200) and Victoria (+1,800), which is no great surprise based upon what we have seen in other releases.

There was a moderate decline in the number of job vacancies in Queensland (-1,800) and a sharper fall in Western Australia (-4,600).

Total job vacancies of 2,800 as at February 2015 in the Northern Territory are now only half of what they were in 2009.

All the signs point to dwindling mining and resources employment

The above data series reflects the relative strength of the Sydney and Melbourne economies and the challenges facing the mining states, particularly in the resources regions themselves.

Industry winner and losers

The greatest number of jobs vacancies were to be found in technical and scientific (19,200), admin and support (18,500), healthcare and social assistance (16,100), accommodation and food (13,300) and construction (13,200).

The latest Detailed Labour Force data showed that while mining employment has been slammed over the past year (-49,600), total construction employment actually increased (+45,800), largely due to the nascent boom in residential construction.

The above chart shows that the number of mining vacancies has declined from above 10,000 in 2011 to a level that might be described as “frictional”.

In terms of annual change in vacancies therefore, mining was the glaring standout with an ugly 40 per cent decline.

It doesn’t look to be a great time to be in the media space either right now.

There was a better look to the figures relating t safety and public admin (+60 per cent), education and training (+31 per cent), healthcare and social assistance (+31 per cent), arts and recreation (+21 per cent) and retail trade (+13 per cent).

The lumpy manufacturing data actually recorded a year-on-year increase in jobs vacancies, but over the past year manufacturing employment has been eroded with a net -23,500 positions lost.

The wrap

Overall this was a decent release which does little to change my helicopter view that employment is fleeing resources regions and steadily picking up in the largest capitals.

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Pete Wargent


Pete Wargent is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Secretary and has a Financial Planning Diploma. He’s achieved financial freedom at the age of 33 - as detailed in his book ‘Get a Financial Grip – A Simple Plan for Financial Freedom’. Pete now manages his investment portfolio, travels and works as a consultant in the finance industry from time to time. Visit his blog

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