Job vacancies in financial and insurance services have risen by 42.4% since the start of the pandemic, according to new seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Overall, Australian job vacancies rose to 396,000 in November 2021, 169,000 more than before the start of the pandemic.
Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS, said: “Job vacancies continue to reach new record highs through the pandemic. The number of job vacancies in November was around 74% higher than it was before the start of the pandemic.
“These figures continue to show the high demand for workers from businesses emerging from lockdowns, together with ongoing labour shortages, particularly in lower paying industries.”
He said job vacancies were much higher than at the start of the pandemic in all industries.
Arts and recreation services saw the biggest rise, soaring by 271% more than February 2020, followed by accommodation and food services which jumped by 211% and rental, hiring and real estate services which grew by 165%.
Administrative and support services, which saw the smallest increase, job vacancies were 28% higher.
The high level of job vacancies in November reflected a 19% increase over the quarter, which coincided with the easing of lockdown restrictions in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.
August figures had shown a 10% fall in job vacancies, around the time of the Delta lockdowns and other restrictions. It was the first dip since May 2020 when Australia was in the initial wave of COVID-19 related restrictions.
Jarvis said many businesses continued to report difficulties in filling their vacancies and that the rise in job vacancies over the quarter was more pronounced in the private sector (19%), compared with the public sector (10%).
“Job vacancies were also elevated in all states and territories, ranging between Western Australia, where job vacancies were 120% higher than before the pandemic, and 49% in the Australian Capital Territory,” Jarvis said.