Impact of COVID-19 on hiring in Australia

Today, LinkedIn Senior Economist Pei Ying Chua shared a post about how COVID-19 has impacted hiring in Australia. We’re sharing her full post here as well:  

LinkedIn's data on hiring gives us early insight into how the labour market is responding and what might lie ahead for those who are just beginning to feel the impact of COVID-19. Earlier, we published insights on how COVID-19 is impacting hiring in China and Italy, the two most impacted countries, and what that means in the US. Now, we have new insights on how COVID-19 is impacting the Australian Economy. 

This analysis looks at the year-on-year changes in hiring rate, which is a measure of hires divided by LinkedIn membership. The analysis was conducted for the period of 10th Feb to 19th March 2020.

In recent weeks, LinkedIn’s hiring data shows a gradual decline in YoY hiring growth in Australia, with a sharp drop towards the end of last week. We anticipate this decline in hiring growth to deepen in the coming weeks.

  • The travel bans and shutdown restrictions on social gatherings instituted by the Australian Government to tackle the pandemic have had a significant impact on jobs and hiring intentions in certain industry sectors such as Aviation, Travel and Hospitality. 
  • An early look at our YoY hiring growth shows the rate falling below zero in the middle of last week (19th March) to a low of -2.8%, suggesting the beginning of a slowdown in hiring. 
  • Based on hiring trends we’re observing globally from countries that have implemented strict restrictions on travel and social gatherings, we expect the decline in hiring growth in Australia to accelerate and deepen in the coming weeks.

Diving deeper into industries, we find that the YoY hiring growth of all Australian industries generally mirrors the overall country trend and has slowed in recent weeks. Of these, the Education, Consumer Goods and Travel industries have been hit the hardest.

Severe hiring drops: These industries have been impacted by the pandemic through restrictions on travel and social gatherings. Such restrictions will significantly impact service sectors such as tourism, retail and F&B. The Education sector has also slowed down, likely due to travel bans affecting the return of foreign students. 

  • Education: -25.6%
  • Consumer Goods: -11.7%
  • Recreation & Travel: -10.8%

Bucking the trend: These industries have shown a gradual increase in hiring over the past week. In the case of the Healthcare industry, there is likely a greater demand for healthcare professionals during this period. The Software and Finance industries are more likely to have more jobs that can work remotely.

  • Finance: 10.3%
  • Software & IT Services: 17.3%
  • Healthcare:12.6%

Looking further into the most common jobs postings for industries that are bucking the trend - these jobs require skills that are transferable between different roles, and includes roles such as: 

  • Customer Service Advisor - Skills needed: Retail Banking, Time Management, Customer Experience, Teamwork, Data Entry
  • Customer Success Manager - Skills needed: Software as a Service (SaaS), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Account Management, Customer Engagement
  • Business Development Manager - Skills needed: Account Management, Negotiation, Business Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Business-to-Business (B2B)
  • Sales Development Representative - Skills needed: Software as a Service (SaaS), Lead Generation, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Account Management, Solution Selling

There are also roles that require more specialized training, such as:

  • Risk Manager - Skills needed: Stakeholder Management, Risk Assessment, Business Process Improvement, Change Management, Financial Services
  • Business Analyst - Skills needed: Stakeholder Management, Requirements Gathering, Business Process Improvement, Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), Agile Methodologies
  • Software Engineer - Skills needed: Software Development, JavaScript, React.js, AngularJS, Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • General Practitioner - Skills needed: Medicine, Medical Education, Public Health, Healthcare Management, Emergency Medicine
  • Nurse - Skills needed: Patient Safety, Basic Life Support (BLS), Healthcare Management, Acute Care, Patient Education
  • Clinical Research Associate - Skills needed: Clinical Monitoring, Good Clinical Practice (GCP), Clinical Trial Management System (CTMS), Clinical Trials, Electronic Data Capture (EDC)

While it is clear that the hiring rate has declined, LinkedIn’s data also shows that the hiring rate has already started to improve in China, after the country followed aggressive containment efforts and saw progress in stemming the spread of the virus. Based on early trends in China, we are hopeful that economic activity can resume once the virus is contained. 

Over the coming weeks we will be sharing more data as it emerges, digging into more sectors and other countries to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.