Seek managing director Kendra Banks reveals why Australians aren’t applying for jobs

Seek managing director Kendra Banks reveals why Australians arent applying


Australians are reluctant to accept or apply for jobs because they are worried about catching Covid as more people dine out and go shopping again.

The number of job ads on Seek for hospitality and tourism positions doubled in a month in one state, following the end of lockdowns.

Nationally, the number of advertised jobs surged by 10.2 per cent in October, taking the tally of new monthly positions to a record high.

During the past year, the number of advertised positions soared by 63.2 per cent but last month, the number of people applying for every ad declined by 5.4 per cent.

Australians are reluctant to accept jobs they have applied for because they are worried about catching Covid as more people dine out and go shopping again. Nationally, the number of advertised jobs surged by 10.2 per cent in October, taking the tally of new monthly positions to a record high (pictured is a room service attendant at the Crown casino in Sydney)

Australians are reluctant to accept jobs they have applied for because they are worried about catching Covid as more people dine out and go shopping again. Nationally, the number of advertised jobs surged by 10.2 per cent in October, taking the tally of new monthly positions to a record high (pictured is a room service attendant at the Crown casino in Sydney)

Seek’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Kendra Banks, said recruiters were finding it ‘challenging’ competing with each other to hire staff with so many positions available.

Retail and hospitality businesses in particular were struggling to find applicants since the end of Covid lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne.

Seek's managing director for Australia and New Zealand Kendra Banks said recruiters were finding it 'challenging' competing with each other to hire staff with so many positions available

Seek’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand Kendra Banks said recruiters were finding it ‘challenging’ competing with each other to hire staff with so many positions available

In NSW, the number of advertised hospitality and tourism jobs last month surged by 46.2 per cent while Victoria saw a 123.8 per cent increase – an effective doubling of available positions. 

‘Despite site visits remaining high, there is still a hesitancy, particularly with customer-facing roles, with people not wanting to move jobs just yet,’ Ms Banks said.

Her observation contradicts Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe’s assertion this week that unlike the US, Australian workers were more likely to accept customer-facing jobs.

‘In the US, the high incidence of Covid-19 infections resulted in a significant reduction in labour supply as people prioritised looking after their own health and that of their families,’ he told an Australian Business Economists luncheon. 

‘The result has been a significant shock to labour supply in the US. This has not been the case in Australia.

‘These developments are relevant because strong growth in the demand for services will require a sharp increase in hours worked.’

Westpac credit and debit card data for the first week of November showed a strong rebound in spending for hospitality, accommodation, travel and recreation. But retail is doing even better, with a surge in demand for electrical appliances, home furnishings and car accessories (pictured is Melbourne's Bourke Street mall)

Westpac credit and debit card data for the first week of November showed a strong rebound in spending for hospitality, accommodation, travel and recreation. But retail is doing even better, with a surge in demand for electrical appliances, home furnishings and car accessories (pictured is Melbourne’s Bourke Street mall)

Her observation contradicts Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe's assertion this week that unlike the US, Australian workers were more likely to accept customer-facing jobs

Her observation contradicts Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe’s assertion this week that unlike the US, Australian workers were more likely to accept customer-facing jobs

Across the labour market, internet job ads were at a 13-year high in October with data from the federal government’s National Skills Commission showing 250,882 positions were available.

NSW accounted for 87,187 of those vacancies while Victoria had 67,828 available positions.

With Seek data showing 28 per cent of Australians planning to change jobs within the next six months, Ms Banks said more movement was likely early next year.

‘Traditionally the lead up to the end of the year is not a time to switch jobs,’ she said.

‘Therefore, we expect more movement early in 2022.’

Pay levels in the accommodation and food services area rose by 2.5 per cent in the year to September, which was better than the labour market average of 2.2 per cent, Australian Bureau of Statistics wage price index data released on Wednesday showed.

Westpac credit and debit card data for the first week of November showed a strong rebound in spending for hospitality, accommodation, travel and recreation.

Westpac credit and debit card data for the first week of November showed a strong rebound in spending for hospitality, accommodation, travel and recreation. But retail is doing even better, with a surge in demand for electrical appliances, home furnishings and car accessories (pictured is a shopper at Sydney's Pitt Street Mall)

Westpac credit and debit card data for the first week of November showed a strong rebound in spending for hospitality, accommodation, travel and recreation. But retail is doing even better, with a surge in demand for electrical appliances, home furnishings and car accessories (pictured is a shopper at Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall)

But retail is doing even better, with a surge in demand for electrical appliances, home furnishings and car accessories.

Westpac senior economist Matthew Hassan said spending on major household items had surpassed the pre-Covid levels of early 2020.

‘More surprisingly, “big ticket” categories – electrical appliances, furnishings and vehicle-related – are also seeing strong gains,’ he said.

‘Indeed, whereas services still has some way to go before returning to pre-lockdown levels, ‘big ticket’ spending is already well above.’



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A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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