Prime Minister Scott Morrison is promising hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the lead-up to Christmas, reports suggest. But as the so-called Great Resignation looms and businesses struggle to find the staff they desperately need, employers can’t go back to a pre-COVID ‘normal’.
According to Morrison, new analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data based on jobs growth after previous lockdowns suggests we could see 280,000 jobs filled in the lead-up to the busy summer and Christmas periods.
“The jobs are there and we are looking to get people into those jobs to support these businesses,” he reportedly said.
According to a report in The Australian, about 148,800 of the new jobs will be in New South Wales, 123,000 will be in Victoria and 10,700 will be in the ACT.
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Morrison largely puts this down to easing COVID-19 restrictions, and the assumption that businesses will be hiring again in large numbers.
Latest wage figures are also showing a 2.2% increase for the year to September, with increases in the professional sciences, tech and services industries particularly strong at 3.4%.
That’s followed by the construction sector, which has seen raises increase by 2.6% and accommodation and food services, which have seen about a 2.5% boost.
However the Prime Minister’s claims come as businesses brace for The Great Resignation, a phenomenon in the US which is also seeing Aussie workers eyeing a change.
At the same time, small businesses are struggling to find workers to fill existing vacancies. While they are able to reopen, some are being forced to operate at reduced hours.
There may be vacancies coming, but do we have the workers to fill them?
The Great Reassessment
While questions have been raised about whether The Great Resignation applies to Australian businesses, recent research from LiveTiles suggests that Aussies are not necessarily seeking new roles, but a better experience at work.
The survey of 1000 workers in Australia found that priorities are shifting.
Employees now rank job security as their highest priority, followed by flexibility and work-life balance, with pay and remuneration ranked third.
Almost half (47%) of Australian employees reported feeling exhausted, stressed or fed up.
That was the case for 51% of workers in Victoria and for 50% in NSW. Of those in customer-facing roles, 54% said they were exhausted.
Some 37% of Aussie workers also said they would be willing to shift to a job offering lower pay, if it meant a better experience at work.
A warning for employers
The research did offer good news for SMEs, which were generally considered to be more caring than larger employers.
Of Australians surveyed who work for a small business, 60% said they believe their employer genuinely cares about their experience. That’s compared to 46% of those working for large companies and 41% of those in the public service sector.
SMEs are also more likely to offer permanent flexible work arrangements, but less likely to offer rewards and perks.
Sarah Gildea, global employee experience manager at LiveTiles, said the COVID-19 pandemic has driven employees to reconsider what’s important to them at work.
Many don’t necessarily want to go back to a pre-pandemic ‘normal’, but 48% believe they will be pressured to.
Employers should be taking note, she said in a statement.
“If they want to hold on to their employees and attract the best talent, they need to be crafting an experience that supports people to be their best, particularly as the economy opens back up and expectations change.”
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