Strong Sydney jobs market creates opportunities

Sydney recruitment story - Rhan Headley

This story was first published on Thursday 17 May 2018. If you wish to use this content, please contact to confirm that the information is still current.

Sydney has one of the strongest jobs markets in Australia, according to research from the Department of Jobs and Small Business.

The Department closely monitors results from the ABS Labour Force Survey and its own Survey of Employers’ Recruitment Experiences to find out the health of the Australian jobs market.

In March 2018, Sydney’s unemployment rate was just 4.5%, well below the national rate of 5.5%.

Employers in Sydney received an average of 14 applicants per advertised vacancy, compared with the average for all capital cities of 19 applicants per vacancy.

Labour Market Analyst Ivan Neville said that the low unemployment rate and lower applicant numbers meant more opportunities for people looking for work.

‘While the strong conditions were a major positive for people seeking work, it has meant more employers are having difficulty finding the workers they need for their business,’ Ivan said.

Almost half (47%) of employers reported difficulty recruiting staff – the most of any capital city – while 18% could not fill one or more of their recent vacancies.

‘Recruitment difficulty doesn’t just inconvenience employers, it also has other flow-on effects,’ Ivan said.

More than a third (36%) of recruiting employers in Sydney said that difficulties in finding or keeping staff had impacted negatively on their output, investment in their business, or the quality of their goods and services. 

The strong conditions are set to continue, with around 35% of employers saying they expect to increase staff numbers over the next 12 months.

Recruitment difficulty: Sydney 47%, Melbourne 37%, Perth 31%

Average applicants per vacancy: Sydney 14, All Cities average 19

Read the report Recruitment Conditions in Australia’s Capital Cities 2017.

Feature caption:  Rhan Headley has gone from dishwasher to duty manager for the Novotel in Sydney, making the most of the opportunities available in Sydney’s strong labour market.

Correct at time of publication.