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Olivier Job Index - Job Ads Plummet

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 4:29pm Sunday 08 March 2009    Print Article

The Olivier Job Index fell a further 9.08% seasonally adjusted in February, with an average weekly count of 247,800 jobs on the major Australian job boards. The biggest losses were in Trades and Services (down 20.33%), Administration which fell 16.86% and Building and Construction dropped 15.15%. Transport was down 13.36%, and Engineering 13.03%.

“All the economic bad news has had a damaging effect on business confidence, despite the rate cuts and government economic stimulus,” says Robert Olivier. “It's gone from a white collar recession through to a blue collar recession. We're seeing the effect of cutbacks in the car industry and apparel.” All sectors fell except Financial Services and Banking (up 1.97%) and Legal (up 1.28%).

“This is a more damning figure than January's 12.64% fall, although that was the worst ever recorded. Over the history of the Olivier Job Index, February is traditionally the month when the market rebounds to November levels of job ads, after the seasonal Christmas and summer downturn” Robert Olivier said

“In November we averaged 317,381 job ads per week, but by the last week in February we counted just 240,924. Even worse, the first week of February had started with 256,060 job ads and that fell consistently over the four weeks.”

The job boards are reporting there are more active job seekers visiting them. “This shows the imbalance in the market – clearly this is a buyers not sellers market now.”

“That effect may have pushed the job ad figures down a little – because more people are looking for work recruiters aren't running job ads as long as they needed to when the market was tight.”

Of the big states Victoria fared best with falls of just 1.92%. ACT led with a drop of just 1.48%. NSW was also relatively strong with job ads in that state falling 4.64% in the month. Worst hit was SA, down 16.13%, QLD which fell 15.08% and WA down 14.51%.

Queensland's Trades and Services fell a whopping 26.48%. Also hard hit were Administration jobs which fell 26.18%. The mining sector was hard hit with Engineering down 16.03% while Building and Construction fell 16.99%. The Hospitality industry suffered 18.07% losses in job ads too.

The mining boom for WA is also clearly over, with Trades and Services jobs down 32.72%, Transport down 27.85%, Building jobs down 23.05% and Engineering and Mining jobs down 15.03%.

“We may see people who went there for jobs coming back to the eastern states now. We'll certainly see many people brought in on 457 migrant work visas go home.”

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