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Job Vacancies Fall By A Record 43%

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the number of job vacancies in the country fell by 43% in the May quarter, marking the largest drop on record.

Job vacancies in the private sector declined by 45%, while those in the public sector contracted by 29%.

As could be expected, there were the most significant decreases in job vacancies on those sectors impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns. ‘Arts and recreation services’ recorded a 95.2% drop, followed by ‘rental, hiring and real estate’ (-67.9%), and accommodation and food services (-65.9%).

While all states and territories recorded substantial decreases in job vacancies in May, the greatest fall was in Victoria, down 51.9%.

“This was the largest quarterly fall in job vacancies over the 40 years of the survey, and well above the previous largest fall of 27%, during the 1990s recession back in November 1990,” said Bjorn Jarvis, Head of Labour Statistics at the ABS. However, it is worth noting that the survey was suspended for five quarters during the GFC.

As much as 93% of businesses reported no vacancies at all in May, compared to 88% last May.

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