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End of year slowdown: Job ads in Australia down 2.9 pct in December

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As the year 2022 came to a close, the job market in Australia experienced a contraction.

Businesses in Australia began winding down in preparation for the holiday season. However, this slowdown also has a ripple effect on the job market. In December 2022, the number of job ads in Australia decreased by 2.9 per cent when compared to November last year. 

Additionally, when compared to December 2021, the number of job ads in December 2022 had dropped by 8.3 per cent. These figures suggest that the job market in Australia may have slowed down or contracted in the latter part of 2022, particularly when it comes to job postings.

This could be attributed to various reasons, such as economic slowdown, increased automation, seasonality and other external factors. The decline was particularly noticeable in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Hospitality and Tourism sectors indicating that these industries may be more vulnerable to fluctuations in consumer demand and seasonal shifts. Furthermore, the lack of work in these industries during the holiday season could reduce the number of employees.

According to Kendra Banks, the Managing Director of SEEK ANZ, the job market in Australia experienced a decline as the end of the year approached and businesses geared up for the holiday season.

Banks stated that job ad levels decreased during this time, and this decrease was particularly pronounced in the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) and Hospitality & Tourism industries. 

This suggests that these sectors may be more affected by seasonal changes and fluctuations in consumer demand. Furthermore, as the workload decreases in these industries during the holiday season, the number of employees may be reduced.

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Banks acknowledged that this trend was concerning and that more analysis was needed to understand the underlying causes of the decline.

“Applications per job ad recorded a double-digit rise, indicating candidates are ready and willing to take up opportunities in the new year.

“Hospitality & Tourism roles have seen the greatest increase in applications per job ad, while workers in Trades & Services are heavily in demand.”

Advertisements down, and applications up

While job ad levels decreased, the number of applications per job increased by 10.4 per cent in December compared to November. This could mean that the number of unemployed or underemployed Australians was on the rise, and more people were coming off the sidelines and entering the job market. 

But it could also mean that job opportunities needed to keep pace with the number of people looking for work, leading to increased competition for the limited number of available jobs. As the new year began, many experts were left to ponder over the causes of this trend as they sought to understand the state of the job market.

Overall, the contraction of the job market in Australia in December 2022 highlights the need for ongoing analysis and vigilance regarding the job market.

It also serves as a reminder that while automation and technological advancements can lead to increased efficiency and productivity, they also have the potential to displace workers and disrupt the job market. Policymakers and organisations need to take a proactive approach to address the challenges posed by these issues.

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