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Stabilising of job market a good sign for businesses

By Jack Campbell | |4 minute read

The job market appears to be stabilising, easing the pressure of talent shortages felt by businesses.

The Australian jobs index fell by 2.1 per cent in the September quarter, signifying a slight ease in talent demand and a slow trend back to normality, according to the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association’s (RCSA) The Jobs Report Q3 2023.

While this means it may be slightly more competitive for candidates at the moment, workers shouldn’t be worried. “This minor softening in demand is no cause for concern,” said RCSA chief executive Charles Cameron.


“The Australian job market has shown incredible resilience against economic challenges, nationally and globally. The data suggests we are in a re-adjustment phase. All things considering, the market appears to be very healthy. Unemployment has only slipped 0.2 per cent in the past year.”

While talent shortages are still very much an issue for many businesses, there has been a slight relief witnessed. In the last quarter, permanent job vacancies fell by 1 per cent, while flexible job opportunities fell by 5.6 per cent.

The decline in job opportunities is reportedly smaller than expected, a sign that RCSA said the job market will remain stable in the coming quarter.

“With immigration flowing again and more workforce participation post-COVID, employment in Australia has risen considerably. In saying that, we still have acute skills shortages in many sectors, especially nursing, aged and childcare,” said Mr Cameron.

“This data shows business confidence across the country is strong. When employers are nervous, they traditionally favour a flexible workforce so they can scale their operations up and down to suit the climate. The continued strength of permanent work opportunities is likely because employers are looking to lock in talent in a skill short market.”

While these trends are analysing the entire job market, when looked at more closely, some industries showed vastly different results.

Advertised jobs in these industries saw a decrease:

  • Education and training (down 26.1 per cent)
  • Technology (down 15.2 per cent)
  • Health, education and community (down 10.6 per cent)
  • Healthcare and social assistance (down 8.4 per cent)
  • Clerical and administration (down 8.2 per cent)

On the other hand, some industries actually saw an increase in job availabilities:

  • Accommodation and food services (up 19.9 per cent)
  • Manufacturing and distribution (up 12.2 per cent)
  • Mining, construction and utilities (up 7.2 per cent)

While it may be harder to land a job in the education or technology fields, candidates stand to benefit in the food service and manufacturing industries. This could signify increased hiring in preparation for the busy Christmas period, where Christmas casuals are necessary.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.