Marketing, media and advertising jobs plummet as COVID-19 bites

Latest Seek figures show the massive falls in jobs advertised, yet May is showing glimmers of hope

Jobs advertised across Australia’s marketing and communications industry fell by nearly 61 per cent between April and May, according to new figures from Seek.

The recruitment and employment site noted jobs in the marketing and communications category fell 60.9 per cent between April and May 2020, while roles in the advertising, arts and media category also plummeting by 60.5 per cent over the same period. These two professional sectors were in the top eight job categories to experience the most dramatic drops in jobs being advertised as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The job figures are reflective of the wider decimation of the media and marketing industries being experienced as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. As has been reported widely, widespread redundancies and job cuts have been executed across media organisations such as Seven, News Corp, Foxtel and Bauer, along with either jobs or reduction of staff hours across advertising agencies such as WPP, Publicis Group and IPG MediaBrands.

Overall, Seek reported new job ads posted nationally during April 2020 were down 60.5 per cent year-on-year, or by 49.9 per cent on a month-to-month comparison. NSW and Victoria were not surprisingly the hardest hit states, with job advertising down 52.4 per cent and 56.3 per cent, respectively.

Yet there was a glimmer of hope in the results, with Seek advising the rate of job advertising decline is starting to ease. Results from the first two weeks of May show marginal improvement, a result the company suggested showed Australia’s jobs market was turning a corner.

In the week to 10 May, job advertising was down 59.7 per cent compared to the same week in 2019. This contrasted with the 69.7 per cent fall recorded for April.

Seek managing director A/NZ, Kendra Banks, said it was encouraging to see we may be at a turning point in the employment market.

“April was the first full calendar month where we had a clear indication of how coronavirus was impacting the employment market,” she commented, noting full social distancing measures were not implemented until mid-March. Seek reported a 27.4 per cent fall in jobs advertised nationally in March 2020.

The industry shown to be holding up the best was the mining, resources and energy sector, which experienced an 11 per cent decline in jobs advertised in April. Jobs in the health and medical sector, meanwhile, were down 32.4 per cent, while jobs in hospitality and tourism were down by 59.6 per cent. Information technology was shown to be holding up relatively well compared to other sectors, with a 35.5 per cent fall in job ads placed during April.

The worst hit categories were human resources and recruitment (69.1 per cent drop), legal (67.3 per cent drop), admin and office support (64.2 per cent drop), sport and recreation (63 per cent drop) and consulting and strategy (61.7 per cent drop).

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