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Job figures – ANZ job ads giveth and the Dept of Environment taketh away…

By 8 April 2014 6

environment

The ANZ job ad series released promising numbers yesterday morning, indicating a 1.4% rise in job adds in March. This came after a 4.7% increase in February.

This comes when unemployment in the ACT fell to 3.8% in January, which when combined with the job ad figures gives some hope in the market.

I can’t help but wonder how ‘real’ these figures are on the ground though when everyone I seem to speak to in Canberra is touched by the current Federal Government cuts in some way, whether it be through their private business, loss of their own job or having their existing role ‘pick up the slack’ as they take on the responsibilities left homeless thanks to the cuts.

Given the latest announcement that the Department of the Environment is set to lose 480 jobs in the next 3 years (with 250 to be axed before the end of the year), are these job ad figures relevant to us in the Territory? How prosperous are we really feeling?

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6 Responses to Job figures – ANZ job ads giveth and the Dept of Environment taketh away…
#1
eyeLikeCarrots8:40 am, 09 Apr 14

With unemployment that low, its makes me sus about the Crimes reporting that 300+ applicants are going for the meager handful of APS positions.

So who is rolling out the shittiest numbers here.. the Crimes or the bank ?

#2
p19:40 am, 09 Apr 14

eyeLikeCarrots said :

With unemployment that low, its makes me sus about the Crimes reporting that 300+ applicants are going for the meager handful of APS positions.

There is “unemployed”, then there is “need to apply for jobs”

For example, myself. I am in a short term contract, so this week I have income, and it is many many years since I have been signed up with any service which might result me being included in unemployment stats, but I am certainly applying for suitable jobs which might be going.

So pretty easy to believe that any jobs with are being advertised are very well subscribed to. Certainly some ACT gov people I was working for recently were pretty happy with their ability to get in some good people that in previous years wouldn’t be availible.

#3
Tetranitrate10:35 am, 09 Apr 14

eyeLikeCarrots said :

With unemployment that low, its makes me sus about the Crimes reporting that 300+ applicants are going for the meager handful of APS positions.

So who is rolling out the shittiest numbers here.. the Crimes or the bank ?

Well firstly, the job ads data is from the bank, the unemployment numbers are from the ABS.

But nobody is really ‘wrong’ here.

Even a year ago there were hundreds of applicants for external vacancies, and plenty of people who’ve left the APS will have left Canberra entirely or retired. I know of quite a few people who were on non-ongoing contracts who just planned their return to Sydney in the time leading up to their jobs expiring.

Lots of retail workers have had hours cut as well, even cut to zero, but any who are students aren’t ever counted as unemployed and neither are those still working one shift a week. Even big drops in ‘employment’ in largely casual service jobs don’t necessarily translate to big upticks in unemployment. It’s just the nature of the definition of unemployment.

#4
VYBerlinaV8_is_back10:43 am, 09 Apr 14

Many contractors and consultants that I know are saying that things have never been busier. The company I work for is turning away work.

What’s changing, though, is that many govt departments are getting fussier about the outcomes from the consultancies they engage, and this is a very good thing.

We won’t have any really meaningful indicators as to how busy Canberra will be next FY until the budget comes out.

#5
EvanJames10:44 am, 09 Apr 14

I’d take the figures with an eyebrow up. Just look at the jobs listings on SEEK et al. It’s a wasteland. Attended a session by a large recruitment company last night… the standard gee-up on resume writing etc and then a sales pitch by a training firm, and the room was packed full of middle-aged IT guys, some quite bitter and desperate.

The official jobless numbers are arrived-at by the ABS surveying people and asking if they were actively looking for “full time” work in the last week (from memory) so it’s not based on who is on the dole. My guess is, especially in Canberra, many just weren’t bothering in January as it’s the silly season plus we all know the big departments are slicing, there is an official hiring freeze across the APS on both ongoing and non-ongoing staff, so I figure many just weren’t looking.

Through March, some departments began to get desperate and started hiring the odd person via labour-hire (doesn’t appear on salary books), but it’s a trickle. The budget is a coming milestone that is “meant” to give some certainty (the MYEFO certainly didn’t htough), but apparently the main thing everyone’s waiting for is the commission of audit thingy.

Altogether, if you currently have a job, cling on to it with both hands.

#6
HiddenDragon11:03 am, 09 Apr 14

“How prosperous are we really feeling?”

We’ll have a better idea of that in just over a month’s time, when the Budget details are available in all their glory. Aside from what seems like the very strong likelihood of further cuts to federal government spending here, there’s the prospect of broader cuts and squeezes which will affect all households across the nation, (and the likelihood of more of the same from the ACT Budget) – all of which will come on top of rapidly rising costs in other areas – (some) utilities, insurances etc.

In the meantime, I see that APS Jobs currently has 94 notices for the ACT (including SES positions), but if you exclude Graduate Programs, Temporary Employment registers etc. all that’s left is a very small number of quite specialised jobs – so CT stories about hundreds of applicants for some positions may not be too far from the mark.

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