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Jobs booming but problems ahead for young and low skilled


ANZ said job advertisements jumped 7.4 per cent in March and were now at the highest level since 2008 despite the end of the JobKeeper.


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But stopping job subsidies would still have an impact and ANZ has forecast that it would be the young and low skilled who bear the brunt.

The bank said the latest result pointed to further declines in the unemployment rate.

Senior economist Catherine Birch said six months ago the bank thought the job ads series would need to sustain levels materially higher than pre-pandemic in order to entrench the labour market recovery.

“ANZ Job Ads has done better than that, now 23 per cent above its pre-COVID level and at a 12-year high,’’ Birch said.

“This strength has been reflected in the labour market, with employment close to a record high in February. ‘’

Last week the ABS quarterly job vacancies also increased a further 13.7 per cent in February, to be up 26.8 per cent on the pre-pandemic level.

“This gives us further confidence that the impact of the end of JobKeeper will be smaller than previously feared,’’ Birch said.

She said that of the 1.1 million workers that Treasury estimated were still receiving the JobKeeper payment in the first quarter ANZ estimated that 100,000-150,000 people would lose employment, equivalent to 0.8-1.2 per cent of the current workforce.

“But we think net employment losses will be smaller, as growing labour demand elsewhere should mean many workers find a new job relatively quickly,’’ Birch said.

“While we expect a temporary rise in the unemployment rate in the second quarter, we think it will resume its rapid downward trajectory in the second half.

“Inevitably though, there will be some people who struggle to find work post JobKeeper, ending up unemployed and on the lower JobSeeker payment.

“Workers in exposed industries, who may not have the skills or experience to work in other growing industries, low to middle income workers and young people will be most at risk.’’

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