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SEEK finds construction jobs are on the rise and it’s building up pay

05 Dec, 16

DEMAND for blue and white-collar construction industry workers is surging and recruiters say this growing appetite is pushing up pay.

“We’ve seen a real (salary) shift in the last two to three months — companies are offering some fairly healthy pay rises to get people on board or to retain their staff,” said Adam Shapley, regional director of the construction and property division of recruiter Hays.

New figures from SEEK show that nationally, construction advertising was 13 per cent higher in October this year compared to a year ago.

SEEK’s Employment Trends Report finds at least a 30 per cent spike in the number of ads listed occurred for plant and machinery operators, contracts managers and health, safety and environment workers, which were the top three growing sub-sectors.

SEEK Australia and New Zealand managing director Michael Ilczynski said all sub-sectors of construction recorded growth except its smallest sector, quality assurance and control, which made up less than 1 per cent of all jobs anyway.

In Victoria, construction job ads were up 25 per cent, in NSW they rose 16 per cent; Queensland had a 19 per cent increase while South Australia recorded the largest growth proportionally, up 37 per cent year-on-year.

Construction continued to decline in Western Australia, by 27 per cent year-on-year, and in the NT, by 7 per cent year-on-year.

Mr Shapley said construction hiring would grow further, peaking in the next 12 to 24 months.

Project managers, contract administrators, estimators, forepersons and site managers were in shortage, reflected in the SEEK data as the jobs with the greatest number of new job ads.

Mr Ilczynski said the Rider Levett Bucknall Crane Index also proved construction was at record levels.

“The latest index has reported a record of 663 tower cranes across Australia for Quarter 3, 2016, with 90 per cent of cranes on eastern seaboard projects and 81 per cent of all cranes on new residential developments,” he said.

“These Index statistics help support the growth trend we’ve seen in construction job ads on SEEK this October.”

Agencies reports in South Australia, road projects such as the Northern Connector and Darlington upgrade were increasing demand for engineers and estimators.

In NSW, commercial construction was reaching its peak.

Melbourne’s construction industry was at its highest point since detailed data started to be collected in 2002 and employers were thirsty for staff.

Brisbane’s strong housing market was fuelling work for estimators and other front-end construction workers as well as supervisors.

Overall the number of job advertisements on SEEK across all industries was up 3.9 per cent year-on-year.

The best growth in job ads across all industries occurred in South Australia, up 12.8 per cent year-on-year, while WA — once the darling of the nation’s labour market — was the only state or territory to record a decrease, with job ads down 16.1 per cent year-on-year.

“SA’s advertising uplift on SEEK is being driven by growth across the state’s top advertising industries, which are trades and services (up 22 per cent year-on-year), healthcare and medical (up 16 per cent year-on-year) and manufacturing, transport and logistics (up 13 per cent year-on-year),” Mr Ilczynski said.

“In NSW, Australia’s largest labour market, advertising on SEEK rose 4.9 per cent year-on-year this October, while in Victoria job ads were up 7.9 per cent year-on-year when compared to the same period last year.

“In both states, information and communication technology remains the top advertising industry on SEEK.

“Job ads on SEEK for Queensland have also continued to improve, with increases in the past five months and advertising now trending up by 0.9 per cent month-on-month and up 2.1 per cent year-on-year this October.”


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