Seek reveals total Australian IT job ads dipped by a third during coronavirus pandemic

The sector was a leading contributor to the decline in overall job ads in March.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Seek's latest employment report has revealed that total job ads were down by nearly 34% year-on-year for March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, with industries including IT being one of the major contributing factors.

The report revealed IT jobs ads were down 30.7% during March, trade and services was down 36%, and hospitality and tourism declined by nearly 48%.

Looking at other sectors, science and technology was down 31.8% while the amount of banking and financial services listings dipped 20.5%. The hardest hit, however, was advertising, arts, and media -- down 56%.

Image: Seek

On a state-by-state basis, job ad volumes decreased year on year in every state and territory, with the largest declines seen in Victoria at 39%, followed by New South Wales and Queensland at around 35% and 30%, respectively.  

Seek managing director Kendra Banks attributed the significant declines and widespread disruption to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We know that employers are either scaling up or winding back their recruitment needs at a rapid pace, and there are far greater applications per job ad than what we typically see across almost all sectors," she said.

Seek also published its latest data for the week ending April 12, which showed the rate for new job ads has continued to drop. The number of job ads posted in that week was down nearly 69% compared to the same week last year.

On a sector-by-sector basis, IT job ads were down 60%, science and technology was down almost 53%, and engineering was down just over 66% year on year.


Candidate availability for call centre customer service roles in week 15 of 2019 vs 2020.

Image: Seek

On the flipside, application rates for roles in call centre and customer service have increased by more than six times over the last three weeks when compared to the same period in 2019, according to Seek.

"Roles in call centre and customer service have seen a huge increase in demand. We know first-time jobseekers and those who have been displaced from work value roles that don't require specific qualifications or experience and which they can quickly start. When you combine this with the ability to work from home there are a huge number of people who these jobs appeal to right now," Banks said.

"For example, Seek's sales and customer service teams are now operating from home 100% of the time, and when speaking to our clients, we know we are not the only ones that have moved these roles out of the office. This opens up flexibility and opportunity to those who wouldn't be able to commute to an office to fit this work in around other commitments. Geography is no longer a barrier."

Seek also revealed that since March 27, 82% of workers admitted to the pandemic impacting their roles, while 30% have either had their hours reduced or lost their role completely.

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