Jobs on the rise, but most are part-time

(Australian Associated Press)

Employers are looking to fill more jobs, but most are casual or part time positions.

Job vacancy numbers rose 2.2 per cent to 182,000 in three months to November, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

That capped a rise of 8.9 per cent in vacancies in the year to November.

Commonwealth Bank senior economist Michael Workman said the growing number of jobs should be enough for a gradual fall in the unemployment rate, from the current 5.7 per cent to 5.5 per cent by the end of 2017.

But he said it is clear that a predominance of part-time, casual, contract-based and relatively modestly paid jobs is one of the big trends in the labour market.

“It compares, unfavourably for new job seekers, to the traditional full-time positions that were available in the decades prior,” Mr Workman said.

“But it is symptomatic of the cost control focus of both the private and public sectors. It also shows up in the 20 year low in national wages growth of just under two per cent per annum.”

Health has become the biggest employer in Australia, with 13 per cent of the economy’s 12 million jobs, Mr Workman said.

That proportion is set to grow in coming years as the National Disability Insurance Scheme is rolled out, and the population ages.

Mr Workman said the health industry was structurally different from other sectors because only 55 per cent of jobs are full-time.

He said a bright spot in the latest vacancies data was a rise of 100,000 in manufacturing jobs in the year to November, a jump of 12 per cent.

A lower Aussie dollar was proving favourable for the sector, Mr Workman said.


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