Australia’s Employment Market update 2023

engineering jobs, recruitment, skilled migrants,


2022 was the year of recovery for the Australian employment market and a year of severe skill shortages with Australia’s construction and engineering industry being hit particularly hard.

Job adverts and recruitment activity

Job advertisements over the last twelve months have increased by 4.5% (or 12,000 job advertisements), with all states and territories except Victoria recording an increase.

The strongest growth over the year was recorded in Tasmania (up by 20.6% or 660 job advertisements) and South Australia (up by 14.6% or 2,000 job advertisements).

According to the recent report released by Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA), online job advertisements increased by 2.0% (or 5,400 job advertisements) in the month of January to stand at 278,700.

Recruitment activity increased across 7 of the states and territories. The strongest growth was recorded in Tasmania (up by 9.1% or 320 job advertisements), followed by South Australia (up by 6.7% or 960 job advertisements), Queensland (up by 3.9% or 2,300 job advertisements) and New South Wales (up by 2.8% or 2,400 job advertisements).

Marginal increases in recruitment activity were recorded in the other states and territories except Victoria where a small decrease was recorded (down by 0.6% or 450 job advertisements).

Job advertisements have rebounded strongly since hitting record lows in May 2020 with the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Labour market conditions in Australia were excellent in 2022 and the unemployment rate fell to levels not seen in close to 50 years.

Engineering and Construction Vacancies

Over the 12 months to November 2022, employment opportunities and growth varied widely across industries. Construction recorded one of the largest increases in employment (up by 11.8% or 136,200). Similarly, engineering vacancies increased by 27.5%.

According to the latest report by Engineers Australia, over the past 2 years, engineering vacancies have grown by 80 per cent nationally compared to 42 per cent for all averaged Australian occupation vacancies. Demand for Civil Engineers has been strong with a 31 per cent increase from January to December 2022. Queensland has seen the biggest jump in civil engineering vacancies with 41 per cent increase in 2022 (Source: Australian Engineering Employment Vacancies Report, February 2023).

The high demand for Engineers is driven by unprecedented investment in large and complex public infrastructure projects valued at $237 billion (5-year pipeline). According to the latest report by Infrastructure Australia, in 2023, the lack of a skilled workforce will be the single biggest issue faced by construction companies in Australia.

Employment Market for Graduates

Australian university graduates are securing full-time employment at a higher rate than at any point since 2009.

The employment rate for domestic graduates increased by almost 10 per cent since 2021, with 78.5 per cent of students securing full-time employment within four to six months of completing their course.

Employment rates among international graduates also reached their highest level on record. The full-time employment rate for international graduates rose by 14.7 per cent from 2021 to sit at 57.7 per cent.

In the recent days, it has also been announced that from 1 July 2023, international higher education graduates with eligible qualifications will be granted an extra two years of post-study work rights. The allowable work hours cap for international students will be increased from 40 hours to 48 hours per fortnight.

This extension will give eligible international higher education graduates an additional two years on their Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) .

2023 will be another busy year for ConsultANZ

In 2022, we had a record number of vacancies to fill and we are confident that these hiring trends will continue in 2023.  Many of our Clients are going to great lengths to secure top talent, offering excellent pay, flexible working conditions, relocation packages and career progression options.

If you are interested in job opportunities through ConsultANZ, please visit our Vacancies page or connect with our Recruiters on LinkedIn.

Source: Engineers Australia

Source: Australian Government Department of Education

Source: Australian Government Jobs and Skills Australia

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