Where job demand is booming in Australia

Despite the doom and gloom, these areas of the country are outperforming 2019 in job vacancy numbers

Where job demand is booming in Australia

Despite reports of the Australian job market “staggering” amid the COVID-19 crisis, some regions in the country are posting more job vacancies this year than they did in 2019.

Nearly 40,000 jobs have opened – from health care and hospitality, to information technology and skilled trades – in South Australia, Western Australia and parts of New South Wales. Some of these positions reportedly offer six-figure salaries.

In the Fleurieu Peninsula in SA, job ads saw an uptick of 6%, while calls to fill vacancies in Dubbo and Western NSW grew 27% year over year.

Read more: Job market recovery ‘staggers’ despite early gains

The increase in job postings in regional Australia presents a glimmer of hope for a country currently experiencing a “two-speed economy”: job numbers in Victoria continue to hamper recovery for the entire country. Officials also predict unemployment will reach 13% by the end of September.

Against this bleak forecast, vacancies in the outback open a diverse range of opportunities to those looking to restart their career during the pandemic.

“We want people to know that they have a choice; they have alternatives. And that regional Australia is ready and waiting,” said Liz Ritchie, CEO of the Regional Australia Institute.

“The regionalisation of the workforce is the change we needed to see because for the first time there is a genuine opportunity to have a level playing field no matter where they live,” Ritchie said.

Read more: Unemployment drops – but it’s not all good news

For Australia to establish a job market that isn’t tied down to geography, employers need to be open to where their workers hope to reside, the Institute advised.

Years before the pandemic hit, city-based workers had already started migrating away from urban centres to regional areas. From 2011 to 2016, nearly 140,000 residents from Sydney and about 113,000 from Melbourne moved out of the cities to the outback.

This year, the trend of working from home has made it relatively easier for Aussies, with jobs based in urban centres, to migrate and start a new life in the regions.

“Over the last few months, we’ve all had to change how we work, and this has allowed staff and employers to see that location is no longer a barrier for where we choose to work,” Ritchie said.

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