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Will Job Seekers Have More Power in 2022?

So, what can job seekers expect from the employment market in 2022? Will they remain in the driver’s seat, and will the candidate shortage continue? Jane Carey, CEO of Edge Recruitment, shares market insights and explores the outlook for job seekers in the coming year.

  • Wages on the rise
    There has been slow wages growth over the last 8 years, so it is predicted that salaries will rise which is a good thing for the economy (although employers may not think so!). In some areas, wage growth will be significant. For example, in the construction industry, there have been reports of wage growth of over 13% in the past 12 months, and there is no doubt a shortage of staff is putting upward pressure on wages. Employers should be prepared to pay their existing employees well and new employees potentially more.
  • New sector and job role openings
    Many businesses should be starting to think more broadly about diversity in the workforce and longer-term workforce planning. Smart employers will look beyond industry or job experience to employ people who are the right cultural fit and can learn and adapt. This is great news for job seekers who wish to step into a new role or new sector and may open doors that were previously shut. This is something job seekers should take advantage of while they can. Employers will be considering who may be a great addition to their team that they may not have considered before.
  • Migration levels continue to cause problems
    We have seen an upswing in people considering domestic migration since the borders opened especially from the eastern states and people returning to SA. This is great news for the local economy. However, net migration is going to be slow to return to pre-covid levels. In 2019 there were approximately 18,000 skilled migrants who came into SA from overseas. The uncertainty around borders opening and closing, and the fact that migration came virtually to a standstill during the COVID pandemic has significantly impacted the shortage of staff in SA.

    This is occurring at all levels of employment from unskilled labour to executive talent. Early indicators show it may take up to 18 months for migration to return to normal levels. What we will also see is a pent-up demand of South Aussies looking to leave the state because they have been unsure about doing so until now. So, all the people wanting to move for work purposes overseas will head off once things are more stable to countries like the US and the UK. We are also missing international students who play an important part in filling employment gaps, so there are good reasons to encourage migrants back into SA as soon as possible.
  • Staff shortages will continue
    It is hard to think of an industry that isn’t short on employees, meaning it’s a great time to be a job seeker. Staff shortages are being felt Australia-wide in most industries, especially in hospitality and tourism. Any areas related to the medical industry are very candidate-short, with vaccination mandates further impacting workforce numbers.

    Expect to see candidate shortages continue well into 2022. Low net migration, closed borders for extended periods, an aging population in South Australia, Covid fatigue, a growing economy and many sectors experiencing growth are all factors that contribute to this trend.

I recommend that job seekers take advantage of the most candidate-skewed employment market seen in decades! Job seekers are in an excellent position to negotiate flexible work arrangements, the possibility of higher wages and explore a wider range of job roles and industry sectors.

Words by Jo Kiley