Transport leads renewed demand for workers

Transport job ads flooding recruitment websites, suggesting sector is leading the economic comeback

Transport leads renewed demand for workers
Transport leads renewed demand for workers
By Jason Whittaker | September 7, 2009

Transport job advertisements are flooding recruitment websites, suggesting the sector is leading business in an economic comeback.

The number of jobs advertised grew in August for the first time in more than a year, with the national ANZ index jumping 4.1 percent to a weekly average of 130,326 per week.

But demand for transport workers was much more explosive, with the Oliver Job Index showing online ads spiking almost 20 percent higher compared to July.

That figure was well ahead of other sectors including administrative jobs (+14.4 percent), trades and services (+6.18 percent) and banking (+2.8 percent).

Demand was particularly strong in Western Australia and Queensland, suggesting mining volumes are ramping up after a long slump.

Robert Olivier, Director of the Olivier Group, suggests business learned its lesson when the boom drove significant labour shortages, with signs of "anticipatory labour hoarding".

Specialist transport and logistics jobs site is seeing strong growth, with the number of advertised positions jumping from 330 to more than 700 in the last fortnight alone.

The number of registered employers has also steadily risen since June, while a big increase in the amount of resumes posted seeking employment suggests there are plenty of candidates to chose from after the mass lay-offs seen at some companies.

The ANZ index of newspaper and online ads doesn't offer industry-specific figures, though ANZ Economist Riki Polygenis tells ATN growth in transport labour demand isn't surprising given other indicators like improved retail trading and machinery and equipment sales.

"If economic growth does slow down in the second half of the year as many people expect there may be headwind. But the economy is not expected to go backwards," she says.

Olivier agrees job creation has "turned a corner".

"We won't know when we'll see a net increase in employment. But for job seekers this is a welcome change," he says.

Olivier hopes job ads bottomed out in July.

"August's figures added weight to that hope," he says.

"We'd expect to see more economists revising peak unemployment predictions downwards."

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