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Australian Labour Market Continues Tightening

As of August, there were 471,000 job openings in Australia, down 2% from May but still well over the pre-pandemic average of 195,000.

When compared to August of last year, when the labour market was affected by the Delta wave lockdowns, the number of available jobs was 334,000, a 41% increase over the month's previous year's total. According to data provided on Friday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the most recent number is greater than the 227,000 vacancies reported in February 2020, before the outbreak.

The substantial increase of openings brought on by the epidemic has paralleled a decrease in the unemployment rate. According to Lauren Ford, ABS's chief of labour statistics, "as a result, the number of unemployed in August 2022 (488, 000) was roughly equal to the number of job openings (471, 000), whereas there were three times as many unemployed as openings at the onset of the epidemic.

Nonetheless, the number of job openings in sectors like retail trade (15%) and accommodation and food services (14%), has continued to rise.

Ford said that this represented continuing labour shortages in an extremely competitive labour market, especially in companies that deal directly with the public.

The largest decrease from May was observed in Tasmania at 17%, followed by Western Australia at 7%, Queensland at 9%, and Victoria at 5%.

Industry-wide, the construction sector had a 16% drop, with education and training falling by 12%. Meanwhile, the transportation, postal service, and warehousing sectors saw a 17% increase in job openings, and the retail sector saw a 15% increase.

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