In a recent analysis of labour trends, the Sidekicker Jobs Index (launched earlier in the year) has unveiled key insights into the evolving job market in Australia. The index, which draws data from over 27,000 workers known as “Sidekicks” across more than 7,000 businesses spanning various sectors including aged care, has highlighted significant changes in workforce demand and supply.
One of the central findings of the report is a notable shift in the frequency of work shifts. According to the Index, there has been a 17% month-on-month decline in the number of shifts per business during June. The analysis also looked at year-on-year trends, revealing substantial drops in Victoria (-40%) and Western Australia (-47%). These figures suggest a potential reconfiguration in the labour market dynamics that could have implications for the broader economy.
The Sidekicker Index has also identified intriguing patterns in the distribution of applications for shifts. Western Australia and Queensland have shown the most substantial year-on-year growth in applications per shift, recording 50% and 76% increases, respectively. This data points to a heightened interest among job seekers in these regions, potentially reflecting changes in local economic conditions or employment preferences.
Industries that were previously grappling with acute labour shortages have begun to witness a reprieve. The hospitality and events sector, as well as aged care, which faced significant workforce challenges in mid-2022, are now witnessing the strongest ease in demand. Notably, both these sectors have seen substantial declines in shifts per customer, with a 44% year-on-year drop for hospitality and events, and a 38% decrease for aged care.
Commenting on these trends, Thomas Amos, CEO and Co-founder of Sidekicker said, “Labour shortages continue to ease in Australia. Companies are hiring fewer casuals than they were compared with June 2022, with the average business posting 9% fewer shifts year-on-year. April to July 2022 was the height of the jobs boom, driven by consumer demand, COVID-related absenteeism and the lack of international workers”.
The Sidekicker Index reveals a substantial decline in shifts per business for both Victoria and Western Australia, indicating a distinct change in labour requirements compared to the previous year. In contrast, New Zealand and Australia have seen their labour markets normalise to some extent as both countries navigate their way out of COVID-19 lockdowns at different paces.