Seek.com: Forecast for the South Coast, Wollongong and Illawarra job markets

There’s good news and there’s bad news for the residents of the South Coast, Wollongong and Illawarra.

The good news is that the total number of jobs posted on employment and recruitment site Seek.com grew 13.6 per cent in the 12 months to January last year.

The mining, resources and energy sector was a standout in 2018 – registering a 128 per cent rise in the number of jobs on 2017.

It was also the highest contributor to the total job advertisements in the region. 

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The mining sector is expected to continue its performance in 2019, according to Seek.com.

The other top sectors that posted more jobs included consulting and strategy (79 per cent), government and defence (52 per cent), farming (42 per cent), human resources and recruitment (39 per cent), engineering (23 per cent) and banking (20 per cent).

However, the contribution from each sector to the overall job growth in the region was less than one per cent. 

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Seek ANZ managing director Kendra Banks said the 13.6 per cent job ad growth has come with an average advertised salary growth of 7.3 per cent in the region.

“The strong job ad growth has been driven by healthcare, mining, and trades and services with virtually all sectors showing growth over the last 12 months,” Ms Banks said.

“We expect some of these industries to be driving growth throughout 2019, in particular healthcare and mining.”

The strong job ad growth has been driven by healthcare, mining, and trades and services with virtually all sectors showing growth over the last 12 months

Kendra Banks

And the bad news? Many sectors posted fewer jobs last year than the year before.

The legal sector led with 22 per cent fewer jobs, followed by the marketing (11 per cent), advertising (nine per cent), sales (seven per cent), real estate (six per cent), retail (six per cent) and sport (three per cent) sectors.

FORECAST: Ron Maxwell (left), CEO of employment and training organisation VERTO.

FORECAST: Ron Maxwell (left), CEO of employment and training organisation VERTO.

Ron Maxwell, CEO of employment and training organisation VERTO, said it is difficult to blame one factor for the decline in job growth in these sectors.

“The real estate industry is currently experiencing a downturn in the housing market, which is due to affordability constraints and tighter credit conditions,” Mr Maxwell said. 

“Sales can be affected by many factors and it is hard to pinpoint why there hasn't been growth. Retail is the first sector that generally suffers from low economic confidence.

Retail is the first sector that generally suffers from low economic confidence.

Ron Maxwell

“The challenges in the retail sector have been widely reported, as competitive market conditions such as online retailing have an impact. It's not surprising to see a lack of growth in this sector.”

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Mr Maxwell, however, is upbeat about the future growth in the region.

“The Regional Australia Institute is predicting 243,865 new jobs over the next three years in regional Australia. That’s fantastic news,” Mr Maxwell said. 

“There are projects being delivered across the Wollongong, Illawarra and South Coast region, such as the Shellharbour Hospital upgrade and the Albion Park Rail bypass, that will drive a surge in employment.” 

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