Plunge in job ads as COVID-19 takes toll on workforce

JOB advertisements in the Northern Territory have been smashed by the deadly coronavirus.

They were down by 21.9 per cent in March year on year before the coronavirus took hold of Australia and at the end of last week, just two weeks out from the start of the dry season, were down 62.5 per cent compared to the same time last year.

Across the nation SEEK job ads are down by 33.9 per cent year on year for March.

Tourism and Hospitality (-47.7 per cent), Trades and Services (-36 per cent) and Information & Communication Technology (-30.7 per cent) are the industries with the greatest contribution to overall job ad decline.

Since March 27 SEEK has asked if people's working situation has changed as a result of COVID-19.


A staggering 82 per cent of workers have said that the pandemic has impacted their roles, with 36 per cent saying it has changed a little and 46 per cent saying they have experienced major change.

Only 18 per cent remain unaffected.

SEEK also found that one in three Australians are now working from home and 30 per cent have had their hours reduced or lost their role completely.

SEEK ANZ managing director Kendra Banks said the coronavirus pandemic had caused widespread disruption to the labour market and SEEK was seeing a range of industries respond in very different ways.

"Hospitality and Tourism was one of the first sectors to be impacted by the pandemic," she said.

Ms Banks pointed to startling figures that show the magnitude of the rapid decline as coronavirus took hold of Australia.

"Job ads declined week on week throughout March, starting at -13 per cent, then -26 per cent, then 69.2 per cent and by the final week of March, down -84.1 per cent," she said.

"SEEK saw employers and business owners looking for roles within the sector, such as bar staff, housekeeping, guest services, tour guides, airline staff and travel agents, cease or stall their plans completely."

She said this was a direct result of the restrictions imposed by authorities such as international borders closing and social isolation measures.

"We know there are far greater applications per job ad than what we typically see across almost all sectors," Ms Banks said.

Originally published as Plunge in Territory job ads as COVID-19 takes toll on workforce