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Career expert reveals 5 predictions about the job market in 2020

Jessica Yun
Here's what you need to know about the jobs market in 2020. (Source: Getty)
Here's what you need to know about the jobs market in 2020. (Source: Getty)

The new year is a popular time to recalibrate career goals and begin a job hunt, but after a turbulent 2019 for the Australian labour market, jobseekers may be nervous.

To give your job hunt a little more direction, career experts have revealed what we can expect in the job market for the new year so you can avoid any curveballs coming your way.

Yahoo Finance picked the brains of Indeed’s career expert to see the economic and industry movements set to influence hiring patterns next year:

1. There’ll be a big boom in healthcare and social assistance

The healthcare and social assistance sector is Australia’s strongest-performing, and will remain so for quite some time, Pickering said.

“An ageing population, and high population growth more generally, has created a huge demand for healthcare and aged care services,” he told Yahoo Finance.

Employment in this sector has grown at more than twice the rate of other Aussie industries in the last five years, he added – and one of the side-effects has been a skills shortage in areas such as nursing.

Additionally, the demand in this industry has also pushed up wages.

2. Unemployment will keep rising

Over the course of 2019, we saw the unemployment rate creep up from 5.1 per cent in December last year to 5.3 per cent in October, before dropping slightly to 5.2 per cent in November.

But this trend of unemployment will continue – for the worse, Pickering said, with young Australians receiving the short end of the stick.

“At 12 per cent, the unemployment rate for younger people is more than twice the national average.

“Australia has had a youth unemployment issue for the best part of a decade and that doesn’t appear likely to change anytime soon,” he said.

3. More people staying in the workforce

Australia’s workforce participation rate is at a record high, meaning more Aussies want to be in work than ever before, according to Pickering.

“This reflects two central trends: the first is rising participation among women. The second is that older Australians are remaining in the workforce for longer than they did in previous generations,” he said.

Job sector creation is also being largely driven by the service sector, and this is keeping Aussies in work.

“A lower share of the working population is hired in physically-intensive roles in agriculture, construction and manufacturing.

“A consequence of this is that many older workers are reaching traditional retirement age but because they feel healthy and physically well they often decide to push back retirement.”

4. The construction sector will continue to struggle

The property market, which hit rock bottom in the middle of 2019, also hit a number of other industries hard including the construction sector. This weakness will continue through to next year, said Pickering.

“Job postings on Indeed for construction roles were 35 per cent lower in August than they were at their peak in December 2017. And the long lead times for new projects suggests that even big increases in the construction pipeline will take years to filter through to employment,” he said.

5. The tech sector is on the rise

The tech sector is set for a jobs boom, with this industry needing an extra 100,000 workers by 2024, according to research from the Australian Computer Society (ACS).

And among LinkedIn’s list of emerging jobs for 2020, 10 of the 15 roles are tech-related.

“Technology is transforming Australian workplaces and it is reflected in the roles they are hiring for,” said Pickering.

“Every major company is seeking tech talent and highly skilled workers are cashing in. Such are the skill shortages in many tech roles that workers have considerable bargaining power.”

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