Job Vacancies Hit Record High In August

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

Job vacancies in Australia hit another all-time high in the August quarter as the jobs boom continues, thanks to the accelerating surge in private sector openings.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday revealed there were 240,900 job vacancies in August 2018 (on a trend basis), an increase of 3.4% for the three months from the end of May, and a very strong 19.3% jump over the year from the August 2017 quarter.

“We’re still seeing growth in the quarterly trend measure of job vacancies but at a much slower rate,” Bruce Hockman, Chief Economist at the ABS, said in yesterday’s statement. “It’s down on the recent growth in May and also below last August when it was 4.6 percent.”

But the annual increase of 19.3% was the second fastest in the past 15 months.

And driving that has been the growing demand for labour from the private sector with private sector vacancies up by 20.3% to 220,000 (from 181,000 in August 2017) and public sector vacancies which rose 9.5% to 20,900 from 19,900 a year ago.

“The seasonally adjusted number of job vacancies increased by 0.6 percent in the quarter to August 2018.

The ABS said that in original series terms, Victoria contributed the most to the growth over the year, with administration and support services, and professional, scientific and technical services the leading industries.

“The number of unemployed persons per job vacancy (trend) decreased further in August, implying that job vacancies are increasing at a faster rate than the available spare capacity,” Mr. Hockman said. “This is consistent with other indicators in the labour market that are suggesting vacancies are becoming harder to fill.”

However what is really interesting is that job vacancies are growing faster in the private sector, where wages growth has been lower than average.

In the year to June, the Wage Price Index showed a rise of 2.1% overall, with private sector wage growth rising 1.9% and the public sector by 2.1%.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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