08/06/2009 - 09:21

WA job advertisements plummet 56%

08/06/2009 - 09:21

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Job advertisements in Western Australia have slumped more than 56 per cent over the past 12 months as the engineering sector takes the biggest hit, new figures show.

Job advertisements in Western Australia have slumped more than 56 per cent over the past 12 months as the engineering sector takes the biggest hit, new figures show.

Latest data from the Olivier Job Index shows the state's mining bust continues to have an effect with about 30 per cent of the overall fall from a drop in engineering job ads.

Overall, WA job ads plummeted 56.31 per cent, beaten only by New South Wales where ads slumped 56.4 per cent with sales and IT the worst affected.

Nationally, job ads over the past year dropped 51.9 per cent.

Over the month of May, the index fell 4.3 per cent.

Olivier Group director Robert Olivier said that as in the broader economy, there were mixed messages, with some psychological comfort from "green shoots".

"The decline is less than previous months, and that fits with the other positive economic messages we've been hearing," Mr Olivier said.

According to the index, there were 16,850 additional job advertisements from the first to the final week of May.

The only sector not to fall was advertising and media, which rose 11.86 per cent in May.

Mr Olivier said that could indicate that businesses were trying to promote their way out of the slump before the end of the financial year.

The worst hit sectors in May were engineering, which fell 8.46 per cent; human resources, with a fall of 6.76 per cent; administration, which dropped 6.5 per cent; and trades and services, which slumped 5.54 per cent.

Full-time jobs fell 4.4 per cent, part-time jobs rose 5.3 per cent and temporary and contract positions were up 5.9 per cent.

"Employers may be coming back into the market, wanting people, but not yet confident enough to add to their head count," Mr Olivier said.

He said that in June, employers traditionally set budgets and put in place recruitment plans, which may lead to a resurgence this month.

The recent positive gross domestic products (GDP) figures, and optimistic retail trade data had added to confidence, which Mr Olivier said was the vital ingredient in the jobs market.

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