Sidekicker Job Index: Aged care registers largest year-on-year decrease in shifts per business

Thomas Amos, CEO of Sidekicker

In this guest post, Thomas Amos, CEO and Co-founder of Sidekicker – a temporary staffing business associated with Seek, provides the latest quarterly update on the job market.

The Sidekicker Jobs Index analyses data from over 27,000 workers across 7,000+ businesses from several sectors in Australia, including aged care.

According to the latest Sidekicker Index, there was an overall 20% YoY decline in shifts per business in Australia, indicating labour shortages are easing. Victoria saw the biggest YoY decline in shifts per business (-31%) across all states.

Sector-wise, the Aged Care industry registered the largest YoY decrease in shifts per business (-66%), followed by Hospitality with a drop of 36% YoY. Also, the index revealed that New Zealand businesses requested more shifts than their Australian counterparts for the first time since the pandemic.

The anticipated seasonal kick during the June to September quarter in the Hospitality and Events did not occur. In fact, the total number of shifts only grew by 11% QoQ compared to pre-COVID levels, which had grown by 50% QoQ. This could be a result of interest rates dampening demand within the overall sector.

Despite the 65% YoY decline in the number of shifts per business in Aged Care and a 41% decline QoQ, applications per shift grew 200% YoY driven by the easing of labour pressures from 2022 and a 5.75% increase in award wages, followed by another one-off 15% raise for the 250,000 aged care workers in June 2023. Despite the legislative changes in wages, average worker rates only grew 6% YoY in September,  showing that the market was already paying rates above legal minimums to attract and retain nurses and carers in 2022.

Things look brighter in the Warehousing and Logistics sector, with the Sidekicker Index finding an overall 12% YoY increase in the number of shifts per business. Applications per shift grew 8% YoY, down from a YoY growth rate of 21% in the June quarter. We believe supply levels have normalised and are now in a pretty well-balanced market.


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