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Secondary jobs decline

The number of Australians caught in the multiple job vortex moderated in the March quarter, with the growth in those operating in the gig world slowing quite sharply. The concern however is that this normally positive news might mean there is a big bounce up again in the June quarter, or more consistent with current economic trends, it might mean there are less jobs available.

Looking at jobs data from a different perspective, Greg Jericho wrote in The Guardian that:

“The March quarter figures have some tiny bit of good news in that the proportion of jobs that are “secondary” jobs seems to have fallen.”

He makes the point however, that the drop comes courtesy of a largish 3.8% fall in the seasonally adjusted secondary job figure. The decline pulls secondary jobs back to trend, with expectations of a rise in the June Quarter.


Jericho reports that the percentage of jobs that are secondary is still 6.9%, up from 6.2% five years ago, with the difference amounting to about 100,000 more people working a second job.

Other jobs data shows that the growth in job vacancies slowed for the fifth consecutive quarter in the March quarter, to just 1.5%, the slowest for more than four years. As the chart below shows however, the number of filled jobs grew 0.6%. 


The margin is too tight, and it is little wonder unemployment has begun to tick up again. Vacancy growth is fast approaching the point where business is not hiring, while those seeking work (filling jobs) look set to grow at some far more stable level.

As the next chart shows, strength in employment growth looks to be over. The gap of less than 1% between vacancies and filled jobs is too low and the worst in around five years.


Slowing employment growth, rising unemployment, weak retail sales growth and sub-optimal wages growth are a recipe for a spiraling economy. Guess which way?

Posted Date: July 4, 2019

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