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Job vacancies plunging - newspaper headline


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I read this article in The Age newspaper (Melbourne based) and I thought that I should share it with the forum.


Just in case the link ceases to work, as they sometimes do in newspapers, here is the article.

AUSTRALIA'S supply of vacant jobs is dwindling, making it harder to find work than it has been in years. New results from the only comprehensive national survey of vacancies show they have slid 8 per cent in the past year, undoing most of the gains since the global financial crisis.

Australia had only 166,000 vacant jobs in November, down from 193,000 two years earlier. More than 600,000 Australians were looking for work.

The most dramatic slide has been in public sector vacancies. There were just 12,300 government or semi-government jobs on offer during November, down from 17,500 a year earlier. In the public service capital of Canberra, the Bureau of Statistics found just 800 vacant jobs, the least since the early years of the Howard government in 1998.

Recently elected state governments have also cut public service employment to long-term lows. There were just 3100 public vacancies in NSW - the fewest at that time of year since 1996. There were just 2900 in Victoria, the weakest since 2003 and just 2100 in Queensland, the weakest since 1999.

Queensland has 29 per cent fewer vacancies than it had a year ago and 65 per cent fewer public service vacancies.

The results suggest the public sector will be closed to many of the graduates who traditionally find work at the beginning of each year, forcing them into the private sector or pushing up unemployment.

Private sector vacancies have slid 9 per cent in the past year. The biggest slides are in tourism, where there are 9100 fewer jobs on offer, transport, down 6800 jobs, and mining and manufacturing, each with 2000 fewer vacancies. There are fewer manufacturing jobs on offer than at any time in the past decade.

The most recent National Australia Bank business confidence survey, released last month, showed business confidence at its weakest since 2009. More businesses planned to cut employment rather than increase it.

Separately released retail figures show weak spending before Christmas. Spending slipped 0.1 per cent in November, disappointing economists who had expected a 0.3 per cent increase.

"There is no good news in either the retail spending or the vacancies data," said the BT Financial Group chief economist, Chris Caton. "If the consumer is cheered by the interest rate cuts, she's still keeping it to herself."

The dollar slipped more than a quarter of a cent to US104.9¢, as financial markets' expectations of a Reserve Bank rate cut next month climbed marginally from 36 per cent to 38 per cent.

The ABS job vacancy survey is regarded as more reliable than the private sector advertisement surveys because it seeks details of all vacancies, whether or not they are advertised.

It shows Tasmanians are in the worse state in which to search for a job. It has eight unemployed people competing for each vacant job. The West Australian and Northern Territory labour markets remain Australia's healthiest with only 1.5 and 1.3 people competing for each vacant job.

In Victoria there are 3.9 people competing for each vacant job, in NSW the figure is 4, and in Queensland it is 4.3.

The national unemployment rate has remained in a narrow band of 5 per cent to 5.4 per cent for two years. The government is forecasting only a small move beyond that band to 5.5 per cent by June. The figures will be updated next week.

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My question is, if this is true, then why do they still take immigrants in? Please, no offense to those of you are still applying. I hope everyone that wants out of RSA will have the opportunity. It just doesn't make sense that they have these statics, yet they allow immigrants to flood the market?

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Hi heidm,

My take on it would be that:

  • Although as a whole job numbers are down, the job market is complex and some areas & industries will feel the drop very significantly whilst others will actually still see an under supply (i.e. a skills shortage).
  • Job markets, like shares and other economic things go through cycles but in the medium to long term Australia will grow, and will need migrants to help support that growth (as is the case with many first world countries it has an ageing population and organic population growth will not be enough to support that ageing population). Although the job market can be volatile in the short term the migration programs will really be taking the longer term view on things. That may mean at certain point in time they will be bringing in people during times of seemingly low demand, which could mean newly arrived migrants are competing with existing residents/citizen for work, or that new arrivals may take longer to find work. But, in the longer term the economy can't afford not having a healthy and steady migration program so they push on.
  • With the new Skillselect system I don't think you can really say they will be flooding the market, the very intent of it is to try and better align the migration intake to the actual needs of the economy. But no system is perfect. If a low or downward cycle persists and/or this downward trend continues they may drop intake numbers or revise their shortage lists in response, but who knows.
  • It is something to keep in mind for those planning to come over. It doesn't mean it's all doom and gloom but things are definitely a bit slow at the moment and in some areas and industries vacancies are very few and far between. Anybody who wants to wait for a return to pre 2008 conditions before migrating may be waiting for a long time though, so many will have to opt to just take the plunge.

Anyway, those are just some of my personal perspectives.


Edited by zetman
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The skilled immigration program is designed so that the list of occupations fits identified skills shortages. The number of occupations has been dramatically reduced and the number of visa's capped. The problem I see is that between the time it takes DIAC to assess the shortages in various sectors and incorporate into their planning for the next year, the job market conditions may have already changed.

Planning numbers also take into account the ageing population and need to replace those workers.

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Okay, you both make sense. As long as they take the numbers into considerations it's fine. I just don't want a scenario where I took my kids out of RSA because one of the reasons is that they won't get jobs as whites, and then be faced on this side (with all our savings devided by 9), that they can't get a job here either.

But I suppose there are a lot of intricasies that we may not be aware of and if you look at Australian as a nation and what it is offering it's people, I guess the dudes who make decisions have their reasons for doing what they're doing.

I read a book that was very significant in our decision to leave RSA and one sentence stood out: the best predicture of future behaviour is past behaviour. So if you look at how the Oz government has established a fairly stable economic country, low crime, looking after parks and beaches, the Centrelink benefits that are really helpful, the government will probably try and keep it that way. I'm no politician and know nothing about dear Julia and her agenda's, and although no government is perfect, I do believe the majority of people running this country want the best for it.

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I personally agree with all that was said above. Let us just use an example, they say there are 4 people chasing after every job. Now let us just list them, 16 people chasing 4 jobs.

Vacancies 1 each

mechanic : perhaps 1 person chasing this one

it specialist : perhaps 1 person chasing this one

cleaner : perhaps 5 people chasing this one

labourer : perhaps 9 people chasing this one (the balance of the total of 16 people)

This then equates to an average of 4 jobs and 16 people chasing them!

You see, they always average things out, so in the specialised and well qualified positions, which would be the market where arriving South Africans are looking, will not have 4 people necessarily chasing the job they are after, if their qualifications are of the rare kind, there will be none chasing their jobs.

I just posted the link as a reminder for those arriving that it may take a short while longer to achieve the job you are looking for, but by no means is it a case of trying to scare any one off.

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It's a bit of a sensational headline that. If you look at the graph at the top of the article, you could hardly call any of those lines on the graph 'plunging'.

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Absolutely agree mistermoose! More like a zigzag than a plunge!

It's best to take these articles with a pinch of salt. Especially when the article has spelling mistakes. Doesn't say much for the journalist.

I have to laugh at the conflicting property articles that come out every week. One "expert" with an agenda paints the picture of doom and gloom whilst another manipulates the same stats to say that now is the best time to buy because boom#2 is about to arrive....

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Hi there,

Agreed. This article also came out today, kind of links to the points made by Mara in her last post:

ACCOUNTANTS, registered nurses and IT mobile specialists are set to be among the most in-demand workers in 2013, new analysis shows.

The latest Quarterly Report from recruitment firm Hays has tipped the healthcare, IT, energy and finance industries to experience skills shortages in the first quarter of the year, with demand from employers exceeding the number of qualified job candidates.

Hays senior regional director Peter Noblet said IT mobile specialists would be sought after by companies looking to allow their staff to work in a more flexible way using a number of devices.

"There's a fairly hefty move towards bringing your own device to work and working remotely," Mr Noblet said.

"That also increases [jobs] relating to the security side of things, cloud networking and data centres behind mobile networks."

Mr Noblet said accounting employers would also find it hard to find adequately experienced people because the field was highly specialised.

"They're always in demand, professional advisers to corporate and individuals, because everyone wants to get the best advice they can when it comes to financial matters," he said.

"And there are so many areas; super, acquisitions, takeovers, mergers and liquidation and receivership-type work which we have seen a lot more of over the last 12 months."

Mr Noblet added that registered nurses and physiotherapists continue to be in high demand as the aged care industry grows.

The report, based on Hays clients' hiring plans for the coming quarter, also predicts the energy sector will face fierce competition for skilled workers against the higher salaries of the oil and gas industry.

Hays also forecasts a stronger start to the year for the construction industry, with a number of large scale projects to be awarded in some states which will increase recruitment for permanent jobs.

Skilled childcare workers are also in high demand with employers looking to shore up staff before the Government's introduction of new qualifications standards for early childhood educators on January 1, 2014.

Jobs website SEEK's education division said it had seen a big spike in the number of people trying to get childcare qualifications.

"It's definitely driving the education requirement for people who already have experience in the industry but who now need to be qualified, as well as people who want to break into the area," said Tony Barrett, managing director of SEEK Learning.

Click here for a list of skills in high demand, broken down by industry.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/business/worklife/the-most-in-demand-jobs-in-2013/story-e6frfm9r-1226550906629#ixzz2HY4To4Yy

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