THE ODDS OF FINDING A JOB
Unemployed per vacancy
Northern Territory 1.9
Western Australia 2.8
Australian Capital Territory 2.9
...and the Ugly
South Australia 7.5
ABS 6354.0 6202.0
It’s harder to find a job than at any time in the past eight years. The Bureau of Statistics says there were just 142,900 vacant jobs on offer in August, fewer than in any August since 2005. Australia had 690,400 unemployed, meaning only one in five could have found an unfilled job no matter how hard they tried.
The Bureau of Statistics survey is Australia’s most comprehensive. It surveys employers rather than counts advertisements and so is unaffected by changes in the way positions are filled. In the past year alone it shows a collapse in vacancies of 20 per cent.
At the same time the number of people identifying as unemployed has climbed 15 per cent, pushing down the chance of success in finding a job from one in three to one in five.
The mining industry has just 4900 vacancies, half as many as the 10,300 on offer at the peak of the boom in late 2011. The construction industry has 12,800 vacancies, way down on the peak of 20,300 reached in May 2012.
The worsening odds of finding a job put into perspective the claims of the previous government that it was unwilling to lift the $501 per fortnight Newstart allowance because the best way to help the unemployed was "to assist them to find employment, not to increase income support payments". They show most unemployed Australian would be unable to find employment no matter how much help they were offered.
Job seekers can improve their chances by switching states...
The ABS data shows there’s a one in two chance of landing a vacant job in the Northern Territory and a one in three chance in Western Australia and the ACT. By contrast in NSW and Queensland it’s one in five, Victoria close to one in six, and South Australia one in seven. By far the worst state in which to look for job is Tasmania where the chance of landing one has climbed to one in eleven.
But Australians are reluctant to switch states. Separate ABS data released on Thursday shows the jobs-hungry state of Western Australia received a net population inflow of 2200 from the rest of the nation in the first three months of the year. In the same period it took in a net 14,000 arrivals from overseas.
And the jobs outlook in the good states is getting worse. Western Australia has 13,000 fewer vacancies than it had a year ago. It now has only half as many vacancies as NSW and fewer than Victoria and Queensland. The traditionally buoyant Australian Capital Territory is about to hit by public service cutbacks.
In The Age
August 2013 (August 2012) August 2011
NSW 4.8 (3.5) 4.1
Victoria 5.6 (4.5) 3.0
Queensland 5.3 (4.0) 3.2
Western Australia 2.8 (1.4) 1.6
South Australia 7.5 (4.2) 4.6
Tasmania 11.2 (6.7) 5.7
Australian Capital Territory 2.9 (1.5)
Northern Territory 1.9 (1.6) 1.4
Australia 4.8 (3.4) 3.2
. January 2013: Job vacancies dwindling, public vacancies evaporating
. September 2012: It's getting easier to find a job in NSW, harder in Victoria
. une 2012: Where to search for work - the Good, the Bad, the Ugly