COVID-19 Hits Jobs27 June 2020 by News Desk
COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a much steeper decrease in job vacancies than previous downturns.
Based on other leading indicators such as job advertisements series, the downturn is also much steeper than what is expected would have been measured by the series during the Global Financial crisis.
Job vacancies decreased by 43.2%, or by 98,200 vacancies in the three months to May 2020.
The largest single quarter decline in the 1980s recession was 18.6% (in May 1982) and was 26.7% in the 1990s recession (in November 1990).
The impact of job losses was more pronounced in the private sector, which fell by 45.0% compared to a 28.9% decrease in the public sector.
Over a quarter of public sector job vacancies in May 2020 were in the Health care and social assistance industry.
COVID-19 Hits Jobs
Services industries that were exposed to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions showed corresponding large decreases in job vacancies.
Arts and recreation services recorded a 95.2% drop in vacancies, reflecting the closures of venues such as casinos, theatres, fitness centres, sporting grounds and zoos, and cancellations of events due to social distancing requirements.
The next greatest decreases in job vacancies were seen in Rental, hiring and real estate (67.9%) and Accommodation and food services (65.9%).
Electricity, gas, water and waste services saw the smallest percentage decrease in job vacancies in the May quarter, partly reflecting increased demand for waste collection, disposal, and associated cleaning services.
All industries in scope of the survey recorded decreases in job vacancies in both quarterly and annual terms.
A measure of how many businesses reporting any vacancies also shows the extent of the acute reduction in labour demand in May 2020.
A smaller proportion of businesses reported any job vacancies in May 2020 (6.5%), compared with either the previous quarter (11.0%) or the same time last year (11.9%).
It is important to remember that most small businesses usually report zero vacancies, and they represent the vast majority of businesses in Australia.
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