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Employment Trends – January / February 2024

12 March 2024

As we near the end of the first quarter of 2024, it’s clear that organisations are facing a dynamic landscape. From navigating skill shortages to tackling the ever-rising cost of living, and grappling with the transformative impact of generative AI, there’s no shortage of challenges on the horizon. Add to that the constantly evolving employment legislation landscape, and it’s safe to say that this year promises to be anything but dull.

Snapshot of the latest employment trends Jan/Feb 2024:

  • The unemployment rate started 2023 at 3.5% compared to 3.9% in 2024
  • National job ads have decreased by 18.6% on SEEK and 13% on Indeed year-on-year (y/y)
  • Job ad volumes rose month-on-month (m/m) in most states and territories aside from small declines in Western Australia (-0.2%) and Tasmania (-0.3%)
  • Applications per job ad m/m have increased on SEEK by 2.9%

According to job aggregator Indeed, the Australian labour market is expected to remain tight in 2024, marked by ongoing high demand from employers, but not as tight as was common throughout the post-pandemic job boom in 2022 and 2023.

Interestingly, even though job adverts have declined they are still higher than pre-COVID levels.

Industry Insights

SEEK reported that the majority of industries in Australia recorded rises in job ads in January 2024. The top three industries recording an increase (December 2023 v January 2024) included:

  • Retail & Consumer Products (9.6%)
  • Administration & Office Support (5.9%) and
  • Hospitality & Tourism (4.9%)

Both Retail & Consumer Products and Hospitality & Tourism, which are heavily reliant on consumer spending, have recorded significant job ad decline over the past year as inflation and cost of living pressures worsened, causing Australians to curb spending habits. It is notable, therefore, that there has been strong demand for workers in these industries in January, which could be an early sign that consumer sentiment is turning around.

According to SEEK, only five industries recorded a decline in January including:

  • Advertising, Arts & Media (-4.2%)
  • Information & Consumer Technology (-4.0%)
  • Mining, Resources & Energy (-4.0%)

Key drivers for Job Seekers

Insights from both SEEK and Indeed show that salary and work-life balance are still the key drivers for candidates although the number one spot will jostle depending on the industry.

Horner’s Chief Executive Officer, Kylie Heffernan, commented, “We highly recommend to our clients to display the salary and benefits on job adverts to help stand out and increase applications.”

Looking for staff?

As a leading job agency, Horner recruits nationally across a diverse range of industries for roles from entry level to executive.

To see how we can assist you with your temporary or permanent recruitment needs, contact your local Horner branch or call 1300 119 580 or email, or simply submit your enquiry online >

We’re here to help!


Source: ABS, SEEK, and Indeed Hiring Hub


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