Job ads to give clue on employment rebound

Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics and Business Correspondent
(Australian Associated Press)

 

New economic figures will highlight the impact of Melbourne’s COVID-19 restrictions on Victorian businesses’ hiring intentions.

Victoria had been one of the strongest states in seeking workers when the virus was first suppressed.

The Department of Employment will release its monthly vacancy report for July on Wednesday, which counts job advertisements on the internet.

Its June report, which didn’t capture the start of the second virus wave in Melbourne, showed job ads across the country soared by 26.3 per cent as restrictions were unwound.

Victoria showed a massive 35.4 per cent increase.

Despite this rebound, job ads overall were still down 31 per cent than a year earlier, reflecting the initial impact of the virus on the economy.

Job ads more broadly, as calculated by ANZ earlier this month, showed the pace of the rebound in hiring had slowed in July.

There has been a marked increase in employment in the past couple of months, including a 114,700 jump in July.

This, along with a decline in the rate of coronavirus infections in Melbourne and Sydney, helped to stem a seven-week drop in consumer confidence.

The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index released on Tuesday gained 2.4 per cent.

Confidence, a pointer to future retail spending, was still well below average.

However, companies like home entertainment group JB Hi-Fi and supermarket giant Coles have shown it is not all doom and gloom for the retail sector.

Both posted full-year profits this week, a rarity in the current company reporting season because of COVID-19.

JB Hi-Fi was bolstered by people seeking goods for working and learning from home, while Coles benefited from the stockpiling when the virus first struck Australia’s shores and prior to restrictions being put in place.

In both cases, there were strong increases in online sales.

Meanwhile, a new survey of start-up companies found more than half feel they are being ignored by governments, and a quarter believe Australian regulations have impeded their growth.

The survey of 400 start-ups conducted by Pause Fest also found they feel Australian policies compare unfavourably with Asia, the US and Europe.

“As Australia looks toward economic recovery following COVID-19, the technology sector will play a pivotal role in job and wealth creation,” Pause Fest CEO George Hedon said.

“Clearly we need to examine the barriers start-ups face and listen to their concerns if we want to maximise the benefits the industry has to the nation.”

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