Strength in property market builds trade industry jobs

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Updated: May 22, 2015

Strong property prices, and record low interest rates, are boosting the real estate market, in-turn driving a 13 per cent year-on-year growth in new job ads within the Trades and Services industry across Australia.

Managing Director of Employment at SEEK, Michael Ilczynski, said the demand for labour was excellent news for those with trade skills as the number of opportunities for employment has seen significant growth, particularly in eastern states.

Figure 1: SEEK New Job Ad growth across the Australian Trades and Services Industry, year-on-year to April 2015

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Steve Shepherd, Employment Market Analyst and Group Director of Public Affairs at recruitment and HR specialist Randstad, agreed low interest rates and the residential real estate boom across the eastern states has fuelled growth in the trades sector.

“This has been further strengthened by commercial construction as well as state and federal governments’ investment in infrastructure projects.

“Demand is high across the board from bricklayers, plumbers, framers and electricians to plasterers, painters and landscape gardeners. And we do not expect demand to decrease in the short to mid-term, the further reduction of interest rates in May is likely to stimulate more investment in property,” Mr Shepherd said.

The demand for Trades and Services by state also highlights the geographical divide in the Australian economy.

The smaller states lead the pack with growth in jobs in the Trades and Services industry up 68 per cent year-on-year in Tasmania; followed by Australian Capital Territory with 34 per cent growth, Victoria up 32 per cent, New South Wales up 28 per cent, and Queensland up four per cent. Jobs across the industry dipped in Northern Territory by 9 per cent, South Australia down 8 per cent, and Western Australia down 13 per cent.

“Meanwhile the mining states have generally recorded weaker demand for Trades and Services,” Mr Ilczynski said.

April New Job Ads

Nationally, new jobs advertised in April rose 4.9 per cent month-on-month. New job ads are now 12.1 per cent higher than year-ago figures.

“April saw the largest monthly increase since July 2010, when the labour market was recovering from the global financial crisis” Mr Ilczynski said.

Figure 2: SEEK new job advertisement percentage growth year-on-year by state

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SEEK Employment Index

The SEEK Employment Index increased 1.4 per cent in April 2015, which means that there is now greater opportunities for jobseekers as there are less applications per role than in previous months.

The Index increased in New South Wales 2.5 per cent and Victoria 2.7 per cent, but remained relatively unchanged in Queensland (-0.1 per cent), and fell in both South Australia 3.4 per cent, and Western Australia 1.8 per cent.