Hiring hesitancy sees job ads fall in December despite labour shortages

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on January 05, 2022 Fact Checked
Hiring hesitancy sees job ads fall in December despite labour shortages

Off the back of a record-setting November, ANZ's latest job advertisement data has recorded a dip in job listings heading into the new year.

ANZ Australian Job Ads fell 5.5% in December following a revised 17.2% jump over the previous two months as Delta lockdowns eased.

Despite the dip, ANZ noted job ads are 4.2% above the pre-Delta-lockdown peak in June 2021 and 36.8% above the pre-COVID level. 

"The 5.5% drop in ANZ Job Ads in December was not necessarily a bad sign," ANZ Senior Economist Catherine Birch said. 

"A remarkable net 366,100 people found employment in November, a 2.9% month-on-month gain.

"While not directly comparable, the National Skills Commission’s Internet Vacancy Index recorded a 0.6% month-on-month rise in newly lodged job ads in November."

"But it’s also possible that businesses have become more hesitant to hire due to the spread of Omicron and the consequent uncertainty around consumer behaviour and worker availability."


The arrival of the new year has brought with it an increase in the number of Australians planning out or seeking new opportunities in the workforce. 

ANZ job data saw a rise year on year of nearly 2% as to the share of Aussies planning to change jobs. 

Share of Workers Changing Jobs.JPG

Talent squeeze puts Aussie businesses under pressure 

About four in ten businesses are experiencing significant impacts from labour shortages, according to recent NAB research.

NAB's Business Insight Report released Tuesday found four in ten medium (38%) and large (37%) firms viewed labour shortages as a very significant issue, compared with three in ten (31%) small businesses.

By state, the big four bank noted WA tops the country with the largest proportion of businesses (44%) identifying labour shortages as having a 'very significant' impact on their businesses over the past three months.

This is almost double the number of businesses recording labour shortages in Tasmania at 24%.

Western Australia also leads in expectations of shortages over the next 12 months (43%), followed by NSW/ACT (39%) and QLD (39%), SA/NT (36%) and TAS (20%).

NAB CEO Ross McEwan said bringing talent into Australia will be key to addressing the labour and skill shortages in the next 12 months.

"Almost every employer from cafés, tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing, is saying 'we can’t get workers'," Mr McEwan said. 

"Data scientists, digital experts and technology skills are also in high demand right across the economy.

"To get the economy really firing we will need to bring people into Australia and make sure, as a nation, we’re building a skilled workforce for the future."

Image by Clem Onojeghuo via Unsplash.

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Jacob Cocciolone joined the Savings team in 2021 as a Finance Journalist. Driven by a passion for keeping Australians up to date with the latest financial news and trends, his areas of interest include financial technology, investing, property and motoring.


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