Demand for workers continues to be high, confirming this week’s federal budget forecast that the unemployment rate will fall below 4% this year.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics said there were 423,500 vacancies in February, up 6.9% from November and around 200,000 more than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Vacancies have continued to hit new highs during the pandemic,” said ABS Labor Statistics Manager Bjorn Jarvis.
“The high number of job vacancies shows the strong demand for workers across the economy, as businesses respond to disruptions to operations, as well as labor shortages across the country. economy.”
This week’s budget and the latest forecast from the Reserve Bank of Australia indicate that the unemployment rate will hit 3.75% this year, a level not seen since the early 1970s.
The unemployment rate is at 4%, its lowest level in 14 years.
The ABS also released building approvals figures which showed a massive increase in February, rebounding from the disruption caused by the Omicron variant outbreak.
The total number of construction approvals climbed 43.5% in February to 18,675 after falling 27.1% in January.
“The sharp increase in the total number of approved dwellings in February was recorded across all dwelling types,” said ABS construction statistics director Daniel Rossi.
Approvals for private sector housing rose 16.5% to 10,240, while the more volatile “housing excluding houses” category jumped 78.3% to 7,183.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank said credit to the private sector rose 0.6% in February to 7.9%, the fastest annual pace since November 2008.
Australian Associated Press