Battle for workers fuels inflation: Top 5 jobs

Inflation increased significantly in the final months of 2007 as the battle for skilled workers reached fever pitch, according to new economic data released today.

Inflation increased 0.6% in December, a result that followed the 0.3% hikes in November and October and that produced an annual inflation figure for 2007 of 3.7%, according to the TD Securities-Melbourne Institute inflation gauge released today.

The result suggests inflation for 2007 was well above the Reserve Bank of Australia’s target range of 2% to 3% and will reinforce perceptions that the RBA will have to increase interest rates in the first half of 2008.

It appears the skills shortage was a key factor driving the December inflation, with several jobs surveys released today showing the jobs squeeze worsened towards the end of 2007.

The ANZ jobs survey for December found the number of advertisements in newspapers and online increased 7.1%, with the number of ads increasing in all states except Queensland.

“The forward nature of the relationship between the job advertisements series and employment suggests that employment growth will increase moderately over coming months. As a result, the current tight labour market conditions are expected to continue well into 2008,” ANZ chief economist Saul Eslake says.

Another survey, the Oliver Jobs Index, also found that the jobs squeeze worsened in December, with a seasonally adjusted 9% rise in jobs ads.

And the Seek jobs survey for December 2007 found the number of ads increased 0.9%, adding up to a total increase of 35.5% for the year.

The Seek survey also found the depth of the shortage depends on the sector, according to one survey, with lawyers and landscape architects are as rare as hen’s teeth, but shelf-packers and call centre workers are struggling to find work.


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

The top five most competitive occupations in October 2007 were:

1. Legal (Snr Assoc. Solicitors)

1. Manufacturing/Operations (Packers/Fillers)

2. Construction (Landscape Architects)

2. Call Centre/Cust. Service (Telemarketers)

3. Government/Defence(Emergency Services Personnel)

3. Hospitality & Tourism(Kitchen/Sandwich Hands)

4. Consulting & Corp. Strategy (Policy & Planning)

4. Retail & Consumer Products (Retails Sales Assistants)

5. Healthcare & Medical (Pharmaceutical Roles)

5. Banking & Financial Services (Banking/Branch Staff)


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