September saw a hiring frenzy for hospitality and retail jobs

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  • Job announcements in industries most affected by pandemic lockdowns are back as companies plan to reopen in New South Wales and Victoria later this month.
  • Vacancies for hospitality, tourism and retail positions rose 6% in September from the previous month.
  • However, the data suggests that the increase in available positions in these sectors reflects the jobs lost during the most recent extended closures.
  • Visit the Business Insider Australia homepage for more stories.

September saw a hiring frenzy as the hospitality, tourism and retail sectors stepped up efforts to bring back workers for the summer, according to new employment data from Seek.

Figures, released ahead of the monthly jobs report, suggest public sectors were rushing to hire staff ahead of the planned reopening of NSW and Victoria in the coming weeks.

It showed that nationwide vacancies were up 6% from the previous month and almost 57% from September last year.

Kendra Banks, chief executive of Seek ANZ, said the numbers showed a rebound in hiring practices before the pandemic before most Australian states moved towards reopening and living with COVID-19.

“This strong result is due to a significant increase in new vacancies advertised in New South Wales, up 20.6% from the previous month,” Banks said, adding that nationwide vacancies had rebounded in all.

“Jobs also remain 24.7% higher nationally than in the same month in 2019,” she said.

However, figures from Seek have shown that there is currently a mismatch between potential employees to fill the advertised positions.

Applications per job offer are down 0.8% from the previous month and 35% from September 2019.

Overall, the results indicate that companies are optimistic about an increase in hiring following planned reopenings by the governments of New South Wales and the Victorian era.

The NSW state government will reopen on October 11, with Victoria moving forward with a plan to ease restrictions on October 26, when the state hits its double-dose vaccination rate of 70%.

Seek data showed that the largest increases in job vacancies from previous months came from sectors that had been hit hardest by the impacts of the most recent extended shutdowns: hospitality, tourism and retail.

Job vacancies jumped 28.5% for the national hospitality and tourism sector in September and 20.6% for retail.

Casual workers suffered the biggest job losses

Separate data suggests that industries currently experiencing an explosion in hiring are most likely rebuilding the workforce that suffered the brunt of COVID-19 lockdowns in Australia in 2021.

A report from the Australia Institute’s Center for Future Work found that casual workers, most often clustered in industries like hospitality and retail, were eight times more likely to have lost their jobs than staff permanent in recent months.

The Center for Future Work document found that the loss of 175,000 casual jobs from May to August this year accounted for 72% of all jobs lost in the Australian labor market.

In addition, those working part-time (both casual and permanent) suffered 68% of the job losses between May and August – a loss of 166,000 jobs.

“In all cases, the job losses suffered by workers in these precarious positions were grossly disproportionate to their share in overall employment,” the report says.

“As a result, the worst impacts of the pandemic on employment have been suffered by those already in relatively precarious circumstances and on low incomes.”

The report’s findings answer ongoing questions about the impact of the phased reduction in disaster payments in mid-October on employment, as state-owned enterprises face uncertainty over how quickly they will rebound.

Last week, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced that the federal government would phase out income support two weeks after every state and territory reached the adult immunization rate of 80%.

The federal government has disbursed $ 9 billion in income assistance to residents of New South Wales, Victoria and ACT in recent months.

The COVID-19 disaster payout, which paid up to $ 750 per week, replaced the JobKeeper and JobSeeker measures that ended in April of this year and mitigated economic damage during tough shutdowns.

The treasurer said the disaster payment was costing $ 1 billion per week and “emergency payments, like lockdowns, cannot go on indefinitely.”

He said the government expects “businesses to reopen” and “people to return to work” once restrictions are relaxed.


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