More job ads, but fewer seeking work in November

Job seekers were less active in November, but employers’ demand for labour is continuing to accelerate, according to the latest data released today.

The SEEK Employment Index, which measures the ratio of new job ads to job applications, jumped by 5.3% for the month, its biggest increase for the year.

SEEK joint CEO Paul Bassat said: “The jump in new jobs advertised during November made it clear that employers were not concerned about delaying hiring activity until the outcome of the federal election was known. It is a tough market out there and the reality is that many employers who are hoping to secure new staff prior to Christmas will not be successful.”

The index now stands 14.5% higher than at this time last year, indicating that it has become considerably more difficult for employers to fill vacant positions over the past 12 months.

The trend is also reflected in ANZ job statistics released today. The total number of jobs advertised in major metropolitan newspapers and on the internet increased by 0.7% in November to a weekly average of 256,356 per week.

This follows a 2.7% rise in total advertisements recorded in October. The total number of advertisements in November was 36.8% higher than 12 months ago.

The SEEK Employment Index found that demand for labour surged in November with the number of new jobs advertised increasing by 6.2% (seasonally adjusted) from October. There were 43.8% more new jobs advertised last month than at the same time last year, and the trend indicates that demand for labour is continuing to accelerate.

Job seeking activity decreased slightly in November, with the number of job applications falling by 1.3% on a national basis. Job seekers in the ACT were the most active, posting a 3.2% increase in job applications, however falls were recorded in all other states and territories.

The good news is that Bassat says job seekers will come back into the market in the new year. “Our advice to employers who are struggling to fill positions is to take a longer term view and specifically target people who will be looking for a career change over the next few months,” he said.

ANZ head of Australian economics Tony Pearson believes the demand for labour is easing. “The demand for labour is not rising as strongly as it was earlier in the year. The forward nature of the relationship between the job advertisements series and employment suggests that employment growth will continue to slow over coming months, although it will remain positive.”


The top five jobs employers found hardest to fill in November 2007 were:

The top five most competitive occupations in November 2007 were:

1. Construction (landscape architects)

1. Manufacturing/operations (packers/fillers)

2. Legal (senior associate solicitors)

2. Call centre/customer service (telemarketers)

3. Government/defence (navy staff)

3. Hospitality and tourism (housekeepers)

4. Healthcare and medical (radiologists and sonographers)

4. Hospitality and tourism (airline staff)

5. Construction (planners)

5. Administration (data entry/word processing)


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