Australia Employment Market

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The Australian employment market has weathered the recession much better than elsewhere. However growth is now rather modest.

It is true jobs were lost during the GFC and most companies put a stop to their previous frenzy of getting more skilled staff onboard. While it used to be a candidates' market it became an employers' market.

But the reality looks better than what people thought it would be.

Many companies tried to survive the crisis by reducing the hours worked and the pay packets so as to keep their staff. This is because they have remembered the hassle of finding staff prior to the crisis.

The resources boom softened the impact of the general financial crisis in Australia and unemployment was quite low as the economy powered ahead, fueled by demand from China and emerging economies.

But with China slowing down the employment landscape is changing.

Australia Employment Market - Differences by Industry

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Some industries fared much better than others and despite the downturn they continued to create new jobs.

As per a 2014 publication of the Department of Employment, the highest increases in employment numbers over the previous year were in health care and public administration, while wholesale trade and hospitality saw the largest decreases.

Percentage wise the sectors with more growth were the utilities: gas and electricity and water as well as the good, old agriculture. And those with jobs trimmed at a higher rate were wholesale trade followed by media and telecommunication.

Health care is the industry that not only has seen the largest increases in jobs, it is the industry that employs the highest percentage of the working population. It is followed by retail, construction and manufacturing. Altogether these industries provide jobs to about 40% of workers.

Percentages change every year so if you want to see the latest figures do a search through the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.

Australia Employment - Geographical Differences

Percentages of population employed in various industries differ by states. If you are after a position in a specific industry here is an overview:       

  • Public administration jobs are plenty in Canberra and Northern Territories
  • Manufacturing employment is higher in Victoria and South Australia (SA)  
  • If mining is your thing, go to Western Australia (WA) or Northern Territories 
  • There is a good percentage of people involved in agriculture or fishing in Tasmania
  • Construction employs higher percentages of labour force in Queensland and WA
  • The likelihood of finding a job in financial services is higher in New South Wales       
  • SA and Tasmania have high proportions of their employed people in health care and social assistance.

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