Lifestyle & Wellbeing on the agenda for Canberra and our local workforce
- Demand for qualified and experienced tradespeople remains extremely high
- Lifestyle factors featuring strongly in determining the offers candidates accept
- Inflation, interest rates and the cost-of-living crisis dominate the economic climate
Less job ads posted but demand for trades very strong
The Jobs In Central Queensland website has experienced a slight drop in the overall number of job advertisements in September, compared to the previous month. This is also echoed by the Internet Vacancy Index, which shows a drop nationally of 5.9% in the number of jobs advertised for the month, with the Queensland figure standing at a drop of 5.4% compared to the previous month.
It should however be noted that job ad numbers are still significantly higher than the same time last year- 18% higher in Queensland and 19.7% higher nationally, when COVID-19 was still a significant factor in business recruitment activities.
Here in Central Queensland, Technicians and Trade Workers are consistently in high demand and the industries with the highest volume of ads posted last month include Construction, Manufacturing, Mining, Oil and Gas.
The Lifestyle trade-off
It is being widely reported by employers that benefits such as lifestyle rosters, RDOs, nine-day fortnights and other similar family-friendly benefits, are increasingly being sought by “in-demand” candidates, throughout our region. In many cases, these options are being valued more highly than the wage or salary on offer for other jobs that are less “lifestyle-friendly”. We’re noticing that many employers are now trying to incorporate these lifestyle benefits into their employee offering, at a previously unprecedented level. However, it has to be said that in some cases, it is proving challenging to try and accommodate this pressure from the workforce, whilst balancing the business demands to fulfill orders and meet the needs of customers.
We expect this demand trend to continue, particularly from qualified and experienced candidates who have a wide choice of opportunities and whilst the current skills-shortage continues. For businesses who can pivot and accommodate flexibility and lifestyle, it may give them the edge against other employers and potentially result in the opportunity for lower wage costs.
Unemployment and participation
Last month the National Unemployment Rate remained at 3.5% with a participation rate of 66.6%. This means that exactly two thirds of the population who could be working, are currently actively working or seeking work. To contrast this with our Central Queensland region, the latest released unemployment rate is 4.5% and the participation rate is almost the same as the national number at 66.8%.
The million-dollar question is, what can be done to encourage the other one third of the population who are choosing not to work, to participate and help solve the skills shortage? At the Federal Government’s recent Jobs and Skills Summit, outcomes were agreed upon, to focus on increasing the participation of Women, Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people and Parents. We look forward to seeing this progress and are very supportive of any measures to increase local workforce participation here in Central Queensland.
All eyes on the Federal Budget
Against a backdrop of global financial uncertainty, increasing interest rates, high inflation/cost-of-living and the continuing war in Ukraine, all eyes are currently on Jim Chalmers as he hands down Australia’s fourth budget in two years. He is promising a ‘solid, simple and sensible’ budget for the times.
This is Labor’s first budget in almost a decade and they are issuing their new economic forecast for Australia. Nationally domestic growth is expected to fall in the next financial year as a result of high inflation and interest rates.
A couple of notable observations from the pre-budget commentary are:
After much debate about potential changes to the stage-three tax cuts, the government have ruled out making any changes in this year’s budget, despite the cost of the measure amounting to $254bn over a decade.
However, the budget will include plans to ensure multinational corporations pay more tax, with the move to raise $1.9bn over four years from 2023-24.
Interestingly, for the first time, the budget will include a chapter focused on non-economic indicators that reflect the “wellbeing” of the country, following in the steps of the New Zealand Labour government. As we’ve already mentioned, lifestyle and wellbeing are increasingly featuring highly on the priority of local workers in our region, so this may be a popular inclusion.
Jim Chalmers has flagged that the budget will start monitoring such things as education levels, health standards and the state of the environment as a way to gauge the “wellbeing” of the nation that is otherwise not reflected in the budget papers.
The Local Picture
It is anticipated that the outlook locally remains quite strong with key projects underway and in the pipeline, including:
- Hydrogen industry development and green chemicals manufacturing
- Transport & supply chain logistics planning
- Renewable energy generation
- Rockhampton Ring Road
- Major project supply chain development
- Accelerating industrial developments in the Gladstone State Development Area
For more information and insights about local job opportunities Register