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Australians worked an extra 2.6 million hours in February!

The labour force figures for February, released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), indicates the summer holiday period is officially over and the Australian workforce is back in full swing. As a nation, Australians rolled up their sleeves and worked 2.6 million more hours in February than we did in January.

The report also showed an increase in full time work, with 65,400 positions added, and a fall in part time work 26,300 jobs (most likely due to the drop off in part time positions during the busy holiday season). The unemployment rate remained steady at 4.9%.

Observing what is happening across the country, over the past year, employment growth occurred in all states except Tasmania (down 1,100 persons). The two territories also recorded a fall in employment (the Northern Territory down 4,200 persons and the Australian Capital Territory down 2,800 persons). The largest increases were in New South Wales (up 125,600 persons), Victoria (up 123,300 persons) and Queensland (up 30,600 persons).

New South Wales and Victoria were the only states to have a year-on-year growth rate in trend employment above their 20 year average.

So what industries are contributing to the jobs growth?

According to Kendra Banks, Managing Director of SEEK: “A trend continuing into 2019 is the labour force demand in the public sector, particularly for Community Services and Healthcare & Medical candidates. Both have been driven by an increasing ageing population with job opportunities rising across Nursing Aged Care and Age Support workers. Positions within these industries are ever-evolving and are diverse in the skills and experience hirers require from candidates.”

Other industries contributing to the growth (according to a SEEK report based on ad job postings in the latter part of 2018) are the trades, particular electrical. In New South Wales, Electricians are contributing to nearly half (48%) of all Trades & Services job ad growth and with an average annual salary in the $80-100,000 per annum (depending where you are in the country), it is an attractive industry to consider. Increased growth in ads were also shown for Gardening & Landscaping (21%), Bakers & Pastry Chefs (6%) and Automotive Trades which accounted for 6% of growth.

For Victoria, nearly a quarter (23%) of the ad growth in Trades & Services sector are for Electricians. Other jobs experiencing high growth include Automotive Trades (20%) and Plumbers (14%).

With the youth unemployment rate at approximately 11% (more than double the Australian average), is our emerging workforce taking note?

Paul Miles, Managing Director at BUSY At Work, stated: “It would make sense for young people who are considering career options to research the long term work prospects for industry. With trends clearly showing a need in the community health sector, as well as certain trades, apprenticeship or traineeship pathways are a smart choice. Young people can even start their career early through a school-based apprenticeship, which can give them a clear advantage when they eventually leave school and enter the workforce”.

Addressing industry skills shortages is a national issue and industry leaders and business play a key role through industry training and succession planning for their workers.

“The Australian government is offering financial and other incentives to employers and apprentices in an effort to combat the skills-shortage crisis and we encourage business owners to consider apprenticeships or traineeships for their existing or new staff.” Paul further stated.

More information regarding apprenticeships and traineeships can be found on the BUSY At Work website.

To advertise an apprenticeship or traineeship opportunity or to search for opportunities, go to the Apprenticeship Central website.

Australian Bureau of Statistics
ABC News
SEEK Website

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