Job market bouncing back pretty well: vacancies rose by over 6 per cent

- October 23, 2020 2 MIN READ

Job vacancies rose by over 6 per cent in the latest month with gains in each state and territory. In addition, job ads are up on a year ago in half of the states and territories. 

Western Australia is benefitting from its relative success in ‘flattening the Covid curve’. Six of the 15 regions with the smallest declines in jobs since mid-March are in Western Australia with five in NSW with three in Queensland.

At a regional level Lithgow-Mudgee and Armidale in NSW both stand out with the smallest job falls in the past seven months.

And when we feel better about jobs, we start spending.

According to Commsec volatility continues to be the norm in the monthly retail spending data results. But in the seven months since March, spending has averaged gains of 1.2 per cent a month, and averaged gains of 0.9 per cent over 2020 as a whole. And spending rebounded pretty well in the September quarter, up almost 7 per cent after falling by over 2 per cent in the previous three months. 

Retail spending has held up far better than most initially thought, courtesy of the massive stimulus packages.

And we’re feeling better about the future

Just like retail, we feel better when the job market is getting stronger.

Consumer confidence hit 20-week highs of 98.1 points this week… close to pre-pandemic levels near 100 points. 

ANZ economists noted that a “Further easing of COVID-19 induced restrictions should support the index over this week as it seeks to move back to its pre-pandemic level.”

Retail spending intentions may have tracked sideways in September according to CBA Group economists, but the ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer sentiment gauge has signalled an improvement in intentions to spend in October. 

In fact, consumer views on whether it’s a ‘good time to buy a household item’ rose by 5.8 per cent to a 17-week high of 4.6 points last week.

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