Seek job listings are up 50% in two years as demand for tradies outpaces applications

Young-tradies job listings

Jobs in trades and services dominated Seek's listings last month. Source: AAP/Glenn Hunt.

Jobs website Seek recorded its highest-ever month of job listings in March — for the third consecutive month — with tradie jobs outpacing job seekers by a wide margin on the site.

Overall listings on Seek are up 50% from March 2019 levels, according to the site’s data, and up 32% from the same month last year — yet applications decreased by 4.5% in March.

The bulk of the job ads was for skilled tradies – like electricians, labourers, and automotive workers — which saw a 7% spike last month.

Seek ANZ Managing Director Kendra Banks said the company had never seen so many job vacancies in its 25-year history in what she called an “increasingly tight job market”.

“While interest among candidates remains consistent, as indicated by candidate visits to site staying strong, the low levels of applications per ad, which fell a further 4.5%, are not matching the persistent demand for talent,” she says.

“Looking ahead, the upcoming Easter and ANZAC day holidays are traditionally a quiet hiring period, although in January we saw businesses use the previously quiet period to take advantage of the downtime to attract talent.

“The upcoming federal election would also usually signal a slowdown in hiring, however, we are not seeing any signs of that happening yet.”

As restrictions eased across the country, a return to dining out had seen listings in hospitality and tourism were up 16.7% in March, while job listings in healthcare and medical were up 4%.

It comes as the Australian construction industry is in crisis: choked supply chains are causing massive delays across construction sites Australia-wide while high profile folds — including CondevProbuild, Privium and BA Murphy — have caused destabilisation through the interconnected industry of independent contractors and third parties.

The government introduced the HomeBuilder scheme in 2020 to boost the construction industry — but it also placed pressure on companies already under strained market conditions, leading to shortages of staff and materials.

On a Tasmanian campaign stop today, Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged $219.5 million to make more wood products in Australia and set up a major research hub in Launceston, in a bid to bolster the country’s wood supply and better support the construction industry.

Morrison told reporters the boost would secure 73,000 jobs in the forestry sector as he continues his campaign focus on economic ­security.

“Global ­demand for wood products is set to quadruple by 2050 so this ­investment in the jobs and future of the forestry industry is critical,” Morrison said.

“The pressures on the building industry and the uncertain international trade situation has made it clear that local wood products and local skills are critical.

“Just ask any tradie who has been trying to get wood products.”

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