The easing of border restrictions in New Zealand recently allowed me to travel to Australia for a much-needed break away, a change of scenery from our island and an opportunity to explore this vast country. During this visit, I visited three states Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales. While there I took the opportunity to look at labour market in each state.
Brisbane, Queensland, its labour market
In Queensland, the sun was out, and people were making the most of it. Inner city Brisbane was bustling with office workers during the week. What was quite noticeable was the amount of New South Wales and Victoria number plates driving in Queensland. On closer discussion with various people, they relayed what I was seeing: the real estate market is active with enquiries of people moving to Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast from these other states. My estimation would be the relatively affordable housing market and the ability to enter the housing market as a first-time home buyer. In addition, I noticed a considerable amount of residential, industrial and infrastructural construction underway.
Multi-national businesses such as Frucor (Suntory) are attracting regional investment. They currently have a large facility in Auckland, New Zealand. However, Frucor has chosen Brisbane, Queensland, for its new facility, a recent announcement from the Queensland Government. “Our Government is single-minded in our pursuit of new manufacturing opportunities and the long-term highly-skilled jobs they bring them,” the Treasurer said.
In Victoria, the mood was slightly different, but that could also be down to the winter blues. The city is still recovering from the pandemic and the stringent lockdowns the state experienced. However, there is a massive push to get people back to work and traffic back into the city. I landed on a Monday lunchtime, and the town had come alive by the time we departed on Thursday. The various districts, such as Chinatown, the Victoria market, and Docklands, were bustling with tourists and locals, as were the inner city trams and outer city trains. The laneways highlighted the underbelly of Melbourne’s nightlife with the cuisine that Melbourne is best known for. We attended the Picasso Century exhibition at the NGV, which for a Tuesday morning was manic with enthusiasts. Theatre life has also returned with international plays in full swing for eager theatregoers to enjoy.
Skilled labour Melbourne
I spoke with candidates and clients to understand where the opportunities are. Focused on highly skilled professionals across Accounting, Banking, Design and Build, Insurance, and Financial Services (including our specialist focus on Risk and Compliance) and Legal. The unemployment rate in Victoria spiked from 2020-June 2021, with volatility through the summer into 2022. The unemployment rate now sits at around 3.010%.
Sydney, New South Wales
I then flew to Sydney to spend six nights and seven days in the city. We stayed in Darling Harbour to give us easy access by Light Rail, train, rideshare and foot to the inner city and surrounding suburbs. Sydney has always been a busy city for me. Coming from a large city before emigrating to New Zealand, I was used to a busy city. Unable to travel for the past three years, I had forgotten how manic big cities could be. After all of us having to restrict our movements and interactions, it was refreshing to just be around masses of people again. The inner city dwellers, revellers and office workers are back. Sydney is alive! In the evening, office workers bantering in the pubs and enjoying the inner city eateries discussing their day and plotting the next deal was a great experience. On Friday and Saturday evenings, Darling Harbour presents weekly fireworks displays attracting families and restaurant goers down to the water to watch the goings on. It was frustrating to book restaurants in Sydney because the rated ones were full to capacity. Bondis’ surfers were out enjoying the waves, and the community was bustling over in Manly, enjoying the sunshine.
Skilled labour market Sydney
On New South Wales’s job front, Sydney is an active job market. The need for skilled labour, especially in the risk and compliance area growing as the upliftment of risk maturity continues in the banking, insurance and financial services sectors. Our legal recruitment team at Tyler Wren has also reported a notable rise in the need for skilled solicitors across Australia. The unemployment rate in New South Wales spiked from 2020 – July 2021, showing some recovery following the lockdowns with some volatility through the summer into July 2022, with the now unemployment rate sitting at around 3.223%.
A remarkable figure as New South Wales has had an average monthly unemployment rate of 5.965% collated since the late 70s.
The labour market in Australia
Job postings have increased as the need for skilled labour has increased. Even within Australia, the states compete to attract skilled and unskilled workers. The candidate skilled short verticals that Tyler Wren recruits continue to be in hot demand in Victoria, particularly Melbourne, New South Wales, Sydney and Brisbane, Queensland. Our Design and Build team also has market demands from Perth and the Northern Territories. As with all countries experiencing record low-level unemployment, attracting migrant talent is vital in the fight to bolster growth in their respective economies. The ability to attract migrant labour lessens the pressures of the need for skilled and unskilled labour.
New Zealand citizens have the right to work and reside in Australia, with headhunters and global mobility teams focusing on aggressive campaigns to attract New Zealanders across the Tasman. Although Australia and New Zealand offer differing opportunities for skilled professionals, it depends on what that individual wants. Many factors influence a decision to emigrate or change roles. Tyler Wren has teams across New Zealand, and in the United Kingdom to help you on this journey. The UK team’s role is to source and engage highly skilled New Zealand and Australian returnees and highly skilled international talent explicitly for opportunities in New Zealand and Australia. Like New Zealand, Australia has an auditor shortage, and they often look to overseas markets to help fill their gaps.
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