Western Australia bucks falling job market trend

Western Australia remains one of the strongest job markets in Australia, according to the latest job index from recruitment firm Advantage Professional.

Throughout April, IT recruitment continued to grow but slowed significantly from five per cent to only 0.78 per cent over the March index. Job ads fell generally across Australia during the same period.

While the number of IT jobs ads fell in the ACT, New South Wales and Western Australia the market's overall growth was largely buoyed by a significant rise of 18.98 per cent over March in South Australia. Tasmania, Queensland and Victoria all saw growth.

The fall in job ads has come as a shock to the market, which saw consistent growth across the first quarter of 2010.

Advantage Professional director, Robert Olivier, attributed the slowing market growth to “interest rates hikes, the withdrawal of the stimulus package and uncertainties around the Henry Review and the Federal Budget“.

“Employers appear to be taking a 'let's wait and see' approach so the May/June Indexes will be critical in determining if the drop in April is just a blip on the radar or if this is the beginning of a plateauing job market,” he said in a statement.

IT job growth saw the third lowest change in growth, following Engineering and Human Resources.

However, job survey results in Western Australia saw the biggest surprise, as the job market there excelled ahead of other states, with growth of up to 20.63 per cent from March in some sectors.

While the IT job market did see a drop in ads of 0.66 per cent from March in Western Australia, it grew year-on-year by 48.33 per cent from April 2009.

“Interestingly, many Australian economists and politicians tend to throw Western Australia and Queensland together in a ‘two-speed’ economy”, Olivier said, “but the huge difference in the current level of jobs available in the two states show how incongruous that is".

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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