Online job advertisements held steady last month

March data from Jobs and Skills Australia’s Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) show the period of record growth in advertisements following the COVID-19 pandemic is ending, with vacancy numbers decreasing in eight of the past twelve months. Despite this, vacancy numbers remain strong, with around 50% more advertisements in the labour market compared to 2019.

In seasonally adjusted terms, online job advertisements increased by 0.2% or 400, to 249,000 in March. Vacancy numbers were up marginally in most states and territories and skill level groups.

Among the major occupation groups, increases were recorded for Community and Personal Service Workers, Machinery Operators and Drivers, Clerical and Administrative Workers and Sales Workers.

Job advertisements decreased the most in capital cities over the year, down by 9.9%, compared to an 8.0% decrease in regional Australia.

Monthly spotlight – Cleaning House: Does declining demand for Domestic Cleaners have the potential to exacerbate disadvantage for some workers?

Demand for Domestic Cleaners over the last few years has been different from the rest of the labour market. When job ads were slowing during the early part of COVID-19, demand for cleaners grew sharply, hitting a peak in mid-2022, when it dropped sharply.

Because of the complexity of the sector, with some 45% self-employed, the sharp decline could be due to a number of compounding factors including the return of international students and migrants since 2022, increases in inflation and interest rates impacting on discretionary spending, and the large number of small businesses failing in 2022-23.

There is a concentration of mature-aged women among Domestic Cleaners and this group has the potential to suffer further disadvantage due to changes in the employment sector.