Factors strengthening the Australian job market

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world as we know it. Every industry has evolved to cope with new trends and challenges. While some were negatively impacted, such as business closures due to lockdowns (brick and mortar stores unable to open, rising costs of materials, shipping issues etc.), there were many upsides. Employees were able to work from home and spend time with their families, businesses adopted digital solutions, and many people became creative and innovative to earn a living. In the case of the Australian job market, it hasn’t been more robust than it was 50 years ago. But why are we seeing these trends now?

Overseas Talent Return Home

The closure of international and state borders due to the lockdowns imposed in 2019-2020 resulted in a surge in job advertisements. Employees on working visas were forced to return to their home countries. In addition, some people chose to return to their home countries to be with their families during the entire lockdown period. And there were also Australians returning home due to the same reasons.

With the loss of mass numbers of workers from Australia, a large void in the job market has appeared (and continues to exist). To fill these positions, recruiters have had to hire local talent, many of whom had returned home from overseas due to international lockdowns and job seekers looking for better opportunities.

The Great Reshuffle

Again caused by the pandemic, The Great Reshuffle (Resignation) phenomenon continued in Australia. People have now realised the importance of being with family after spending months at home with their loved ones. Work-life balance has been flipped, and employees now demand ‘life-work balance’ and are putting their families first. Employers have offered new perks and improved working conditions to attract and retain staff.

New businesses have also opened their doors in the wake of the pandemic, such as online stores. Employees have resigned as they have used their ‘free time’ during lockdowns to pursue their passions and have moved on after finding personal small business success. 

Working from Home

In the post-lockdown era, employees have been searching for opportunities that will allow them to work from home at least periodically and even be able to get flexible or part-time work. Traditional working arrangements have been in place for a very long time. Employees have had to be physically present in an office to be employed. However, as lockdowns caused businesses to be at a standstill, it forced employers to implement new work from home policies. After weeks of remote work, businesses realised that this model might be effective in the long run too. 

By offering these options, companies have recruited staff that want to continue working for the business. Those who had left jobs because they were caretakers or could not commute or travel now have the chance to work from home as more and more remote jobs get advertised, allowing more people to be employed. The flexibility to be with family and do the things they’ve missed out on during the two to three years of lockdowns and restrictions has made this a desirable incentive for potential employees.

The factors mentioned above and the ability of job seekers and recruiters to fill the needs-gap in the job market have contributed to a very low unemployment rate in Australia. It remains to be seen whether this trend will continue or be impacted by the re-opening of international borders and the return of international workers. 

Attracting quality talent may be challenging using traditional hiring methods, with the job market being unpredictable. If you need help with recruitment, our team can help find the right talent for your business. Contact us today!