As an employment consultant, you should be aware of the changes and trends in the labour market.
- Where does the demand outnumber the supply, or the supply outnumber the demand?
- What industry sectors are declining and which are expanding?
- In your own area, what employers are constantly advertising for workers, and which have been laying off staff?
As an overall trend in recent years the manufacturing industry has declined sharply, while employment in the services sector has grown. From February 2005 to February 2006, the industries showing the strongest rates of employment growth were mining, electricity, gas and water supply, education, property and business services, and health and community services (ABS Cat. No. 6105.0). However, though these industries had increased employment, the demand still outnumbered the labour supply.
A white paper issued by Drake International (as quoted in www.citynews.com.au in May 2006) noted that Australia has severe skill shortages in skilled trades, automotive, education, health, transport and distribution sectors. The paper expected that this trend would become more widespread by 2010.
In May 2005, the largest numbers of job vacancies by industry were in property and business services, retail trade, and health and community services (ABS: Job Vacancies Australia, Spreadsheet 6354.0).
What implications do these trends have for your job seekers? Obviously, they have a better chance of obtaining work in an industry that is experiencing employment growth than one that is stagnant or declining. If they are intending to do training, it makes sense to target training in skills that are currently most in demand.