Sidekicker, a temporary and casual staffing platform in Australia and New Zealand, has unveiled its inaugural Jobs Index, shedding light on the current state of the casual and temporary employment market in Australia. The index, which draws insights from data collected from over 27,000 workers across more than 7,000 businesses in various sectors, reveals positive developments for the labour market. Jobs website Seek is a significant investor in Sidekicker.
According to the Sidekicker Jobs Index, there has been a remarkable 145% surge in job applications per shift in Australia in April 2023, compared to the same period in 2022. This increase can be largely attributed to the return of international workers, signalling a significant improvement in worker supply and a reduction in the labour shortage that had been plaguing Australian businesses.
While the Australian government has highlighted wage growth, the index shows a decline in average wages of 3% year over year. This drop is primarily driven by the Hospitality and Events industry, experiencing a 6% decline, and the Aged Care sector, with a significant 10% decrease. These industries previously faced severe labour shortages, leading businesses to offer higher wages to attract workers at the time.
Sidekicker CEO Thomas Amos acknowledged that some businesses are finally experiencing relief after a challenging period of labour-sourcing difficulties induced by the pandemic. He emphasised that the labour pressure is continuing to ease, with job applications per shift increasing by 145% year over year. International workers have played a significant role in this trend, with a 160% year-over-year growth in international registrations compared to a 70% increase in local registrations.
The Sidekicker Jobs Index also highlights a 15% month-over-month decline in the number of shifts per business in April, primarily due to an influx of public holidays and the seasonal slowdown as Australia enters winter. As labour shortages gradually alleviate, the reliability of workers has improved by 35% year over year and 10% month over month.
In terms of industry insights, Hospitality and Events experienced a decline of 32% month over month and 41% year over year in the number of shifts per business. This industry is expected to remain subdued during the winter months, with supply continuing to ease. Aged Care also saw significant declines of 29% year over year in the number of shifts per business, as staffing shortages related to COVID-19 have improved.
While Warehousing and Logistics experienced more modest changes, with a 17% year-over-year growth in the number of shifts per business, the industry faced challenges from rising inflation impacting consumer sentiment. Customer Service, Administration, and Office Support (White Collar) exhibited similar growth rates, with a 17% year-over-year increase in the number of shifts per business and a 2% year-over-year rise in job applications per shift.
The Sidekicker Jobs Index for April 2023 underscores the positive trajectory of the Australian labour market, with increased worker supply and easing labour pressures. As the country enters the winter season, certain industries are expected to remain subdued, while others show more resilience and growth.