Job ads are down 7.8 per cent year on year, meaning less employers are keen to make hires, according to the latest Seek employment data.
The data is backed up by research from the Executive Connection, which found that while business leaders’ hiring intentions remained stable in this last quarter, the expectations for hires in 2020 had softened.
The report urged business leaders to be cautious in their business planning.
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"Considering there are elements affecting the economy that previously didn't need to be accounted for, SME [small-to-medium enterprise] leaders should be conservative enough in their business plans," the report concluded.
On top of that, the latest ABS jobs report found 19,000 jobs were lost in the last month - the worst of any month in over 3 years.
But is the job market really tightening?
Recruitment firm Hays’ managing director Nick Deligiannis told Yahoo Finance the job market would in fact be active in 2020, particularly in Australia’s professional and financial services, infrastructure, mining and healthcare industries.
“The key trends we’re seeing are for skilled professionals who, regardless of role or industry, possess interpersonal and creative skills,” Deligiannis said.
“Employers also look for people who can make data-based decisions, adapt well to change and are continuous learners.”
So what jobs will be in demand in 2020?
Professional and financial services
Within this industry, analysts and advisors will be in high demand next year.
“Demand is rising for analysts and advisors who can interpret the vast array of data – and increasingly larger data sets – at their disposal,” Deligiannis said.
Payrollers and risk and compliance professionals will also be highly sought-after.
Construction and mining
Deligiannis expects design engineers and delivery engineers on roads, tunnels, bridges and rail will all be in high demand.
Construction engineers with rail and road experience will also be required, as will contract administrators, estimators, design managers, project managers and site managers.
Tradies are in luck too: carpenters, concreters, civil operators and steel fixers will also be sought-after.
In mining, geologists, mining engineers, drill and blast operators, boilermakers and dump truck operators will be in high demand too.
“Skill shortages will continue to impact Australia’s healthcare industry in 2020,” Deligiannis said.
And, given the surge in the National Disability Insurance Scheme, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and physiotherapists will be high in the disability sector.
Registered nurses, psychologists, case managers, mental health nurses, counsellors, social workers and case managers will also be sought.
According to Deligiannis, the Banking Royal Commission has led to an increased need within financial services organisations for HR business partners with employee relations, restructuring and redeployment experience.
“Learning and development (L&D) professionals will be increasingly sought in 2020 to write, design and deliver training material that covers the new Code of Practice policy within banking and insurance.”
“We expect to see high demand for several IT skills in 2020,” said Deligiannis. At the top of the list is data scientists, data engineers and data analysts with experience in SQL, R or Python.
“Data Scientists with big data experience in Hadoop will also remain widely sought after. The need for data science and analysis skills will only continue to grow as organisations look to solve problems and make more informed business decisions through better utilisation of their data.”
The early childhood sector is extremely competitive, Deligiannis said, with larger organisations growing at a rapid rate and new centres opening.
“Add ratio requirements and the general shortage of suitable candidates, and demand will remain high in 2020 for early childhood teachers with a minimum six months to one year of experience and a Diploma or a Certificate III.”
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