Regional Labour Demand
After hitting a low point during the three-month period from December 2022 to February 2023, regional Australia has witnessed a remarkable rebound in job vacancies. In March 2023, job vacancies surged to nearly 93,000 advertised jobs, marking a 15.2 per cent increase from February and a 10.1 per cent rise compared to a year earlier. The profile of annual growth in regional Australia contrasts with the situation in metro Australia, where job ads have declined by 2.1 per cent year-over-year.
Regional Australia job vacancies
Source: National Skills Commission, Regional Australia Institute
Tasmania, regional New South Wales, regional Queensland and the Northern Territory saw the largest increases in vacancies during the month. The top growth regions are scattered around New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania. Latest advertised vacancies are well in excess of what was being advertised a month earlier in all regions. The monthly growth in vacancies in the various regions are in the double digits, with a concentration in the range of nearly 10 per cent to 20 per cent.
In comparison, the annual change in job ads exhibits a wider variation across all regions, ranging from a notable increase of 24.4 per cent to a modest decrease of 7.0 per cent.
The five regions that recorded the largest monthly increases in vacancies in March 2023 are:
- Southern Highlands & Snowy in NSW with 19.4% more vacancies in March 2023 (1,360) than in February 2023 (1,139)
- Hobart & Southeast Tasmania up by 19.3% (2,229 compared to 1,869)
- Dubbo & Western NSW up by 18.1% (1,586 compared to 1,343)
- Central Queensland up by 17.2% (4,858 compared to 4,146)
- Newcastle & Hunter in NSW up by 16.8% (7,081 compared to 6,062)
The five regions with the largest annual increases in vacancies between March 2022 and March 2023 are:
- Tamworth and North West NSW up by 24.4%
- Blue Mountains, Bathurst & Central West NSW up by 22.7%
- Launceston and Northeast Tasmania up by 22.3%
- Toowoomba and South West QLD up by 21.8%
- Central Queensland up by 21.8%
In terms of the occupations being demanded, the most vacancies are for Professional roles (26% of all vacancies in March), followed by Technicians and Trades roles (16%), Community and Personal Service roles (13%), and Clerical and Administrative roles (13%).
SOURCES The Internet Vacancy Index is updated monthly by the Department of Education Skills, Employment and Business (https://labourmarketinsights.gov.au/our-research/internet-vacancy-index/). The RAI has an interactive Regional Job Vacancy map of the data showing vacancies in 37 regions across Australia (regionalaustralia.org.au/home/regional-jobs-vacancy-map).