As an employee, it can be difficult to know where you stand in your profession, and whether it's a good time to ask for things like a pay rise or extra benefits.
The Clarius Skills Indicator, which tracks the availability of skilled labour in Australia, can now give bosses and employees alike an overall view of the shifting local labour market. The just-released report not only outlines exactly which skills in which jobs are in desperate demand, but which industries are dealing with an oversupply of talent.
According to the indicator, the country’s mining boom has passed its peak and other sectors of the economy, such as retail and manufacturing, have not filled these weak spots. In fact, the data suggests the labour market is as soft as it was during the global financial crisis (GFC), when the unemployment rate reached 5.9% in 2009.
“These trends mean the current oversupply of job seekers for the labour market as a whole hides an important divergence in recruiting conditions for individual occupations: recruiting conditions are tighter at the ‘top end’ of the labour market than they are at the ‘bottom end’,” the report states.
To measure the divergence, the report chose 10 key skilled occupations from the top end of the labour market to illustrate the oversupply of job seekers at the lower end of the labour market.
Here are the projections and unique drivers for various occupations and industries:
Shortage of 500 skilled advertising and sales managers As Australian businesses undergo a transition from ‘face-to-face’ sales and ‘bricks and mortar’ shop-fronts to online and app sales, the digital age is impacting business. This requires more experienced management skills, leaving a shortage as there are “simply not enough individuals in Australia with the skills required to meet this extra demand”.
Surplus of 3,000 skilled retail, hospitality and service managers Weakness in the consumer sector has pushed this market from a shortage of 2,600 managers in March 2013 into a surplus of 3,000 professionals in March 2014. But this could change if indications of a tighter labour market prove true in the near future.
Surplus of 500 ICT managers An increased reliance on foreign ICT services has seen the local demand for managers weaken, and the market shift into surplus. Weak economic conditions have also seen “lethargy” in projects, further slowing demand for these professionals. Additionally, Australian businesses have taken adavnatge of the high Australian dollar to increase their use of foreign suppliers of ICT.
Surplus of 4,100 engineering professionals As the mining market shifts, fewer engineering professionals are needed as the construction of new mines and investment slows down. This market has rapidly shifted from a shortage of 4,000 professionals in March 2012 to a current surplus of 4,100 in March 2013.
However, other sectors use engineers heavily and two of these – infrastructure construction and commercial construction – are showing signs of strength.
Surplus of 1,600 accountants, auditors and company secretaries Not only has activity in the real economy been soft, but battles among retailers for customers and lower international prices for our exports (especially our mine exports) have seen weak growth in prices too. Growth in taxi collections has also been weak, meaning there is less work for accountants.
Surplus of 1,800 ICT professionals As is the case for ICT managers, investment in new ICT systems has slowed and this has reduced the demand for ICT professionals. Like the market for ICT managers, the market for ICT professionals is in surplus by 1,800 professionals.
The market for sales, marketing and public relations professionals is in balance The transition from traditional sales channels to new sales vehicles in the online and app space means the skills of additional sales, marketing and public relations professionals are needed. Because of this extra demand, this market has withstood the weakening in labour market in recent quarters, and is in balance.
Surplus of 19,700 clerical and administrative workers Labour demand for workers with less developed skills tends to fall by more during periods of weaker economic conditions as employers feel less need to retain these workers. Therefore, with the general weakening of the labour market in recent quarters, the surplus of clerical and administrative workers has grown.