I don’t want to scare you, but in February this year unemployment officially reached 6 per cent, its highest point since 1997. That’s the year The Castle came out and things were still bought and sold via the Trading Post.
If you’re not old enough to remember the 90s, then I should make it clear that six per cent, and of course today’s unemployment rate of 5.9 per cent, is by no means the 10.9 per cent a recession-racked Australia faced back in 1992. And it’s most certainly not the 10.4 per cent of Europe today – we’re even maintaining around a percentage point below the UK and half a percentage point below the US. But with memories of the 90s haunting some of us like a grunge nightmare, it still doesn’t feel good to be going backwards – especially to a time when the remnants of double-denim were still about.
Still, some good news is that the Department of Employment has been hard at work crunching all the numbers for their annual Jobs Australia 2014 report, measuring just what’s been going on in the five years to November 2013 so that we might be able to predict our futures – or at least confirm what we know to be true: that opportunities for unskilled professionals will continue to evaporate over the next five years and we need to skill up if we want to compete in this soft job market.
So what to do? Where to go from here? Should you be looking for accounting jobs in Melbourne or Adelaide? Is there any growth in Tasmania? Is mining over?
Whether you’re in need of some direction or you’re already contemplating your next challenge, we’ve distilled things down to show you the industries to watch and what’s going on in your state. After all, you don’t want to get qualified just be told you’re dreamin’.
The next five years to November 2018 is expected to bring about growth in each of the Department of Employment’s eight occupational groups, however, the Australian workforce will increasingly require people to have undertaken training after school.
The largest decline in employment is expected to be in manufacturing, followed by the areas of mining and agriculture, forestry and fishing.
Less skilled workers will find it harder to get work with projections showing that approximately one in every 30 new jobs will be for a machinery operator or driver and one in every 75 will be for a labourer. This contrasts with the strong growth that’s expected to continue in the health care and social assistance industry, with one in every five jobs projected to be for community and personal service workers.
Growth: Victoria experienced the largest growth in the number of jobs created (217,300, up 8.1 per cent), and the strongest rate of employment growth was in the Northern Territory (14,200 jobs, up 12.4 per cent). This state and territory took over from 2013’s employment heroes New South Wales (number of jobs) and Western Australia (growth rate).
Tasmania has remained the worst location for employment with a decline of 5 per cent reported in this year’s instalment.
VET grads: Tasmania has the highest proportion of VET graduates with a certificate III or higher (35 per cent), followed by Western Australia (34 per cent). The ACT has the smallest proportion with just 24 per cent.
Uni grads: The ACT tops the list for university graduates with 43 per cent, followed by Victoria (32 per cent) and New South Wales (31 per cent).
Age: The largest proportion of older workers can be found in Tasmania (45 per cent) and South Australia (42 per cent) with the lowest proportion in the ACT (35 per cent) and the Northern Territory (37 per cent).
No qualifications: Tasmania and Queensland share their position as the states with the highest proportion of workers without post-school qualifications (39 per cent). The ACT has the lowest proportion at just 30 per cent.
Workload: Tasmania has the largest proportion of part-time workers at 37 per cent, well over the national average of 30 per cent. The Northern Territory has the highest proportion of full-time workers with just 18 per cent working part-time.
Gender: Female workers are steadily represented across all states ranging from 44 per cent in Western Australia to 48 per cent in the ACT.
More than a third of our workforce is employed in regional Australia and the report suggests there are ‘sound’ opportunities for employment in these areas.
This is due to a higher proportion of older workers in these areas who are predicted to retire and the fact that employers in regional locations currently have more difficulty in recruiting skilled workers.
Regional workers are less likely to have post-school qualifications so workers who turn to tertiary education to meet the skill needs of particular regions will find a good return on their investment.
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