How lack of applicants is putting a brake on our employment fightback

More than half of employers struggling to find workers have blamed a lack of applicants, as the economy reopens.

Jun 30, 2020, updated Jun 30, 2020
Retail trade numbers for November are released on Monday. (Photo: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

Retail trade numbers for November are released on Monday. (Photo: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

The latest job demand data from the National Skills Commission shows 27 per cent of employers are having or expect to have trouble filling jobs.

Of those, 52 per cent said a lack of applicants was behind the problem with job seekers’ experience and skills the next most prevalent issues.

Child carers, metal fabricators and welders, along with truck drivers and receptionists were the hardest positions to recruit for.

Federal Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said more businesses were looking for workers as coronavirus restrictions ease.

“This presents a real opportunity for those who lost work to get back out there and put their hand up for a job,” she said.

The figures are based on a survey of more than 2300 employers with 1720 vacant positions.

Health care, transport, postal and warehousing, manufacturing, retail and wholesale were targeted in the research.

Across the broader economy, unemployment was 7.1 per cent in May with job vacancies falling by 43 per cent over three months, a worse drop than during the 1990s recession.

Former Liberal minister Craig Laundy claimed he was struggling to fill shifts across his family’s pubs because people would rather stay on coronavirus support.

He said businesses would not be in a position to hire in September when payments are due to end or be reduced.

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“I would get off your backside, effectively, and put your hand up and answer these ads,” Laundy told Nine’s Today show.

Labor frontbencher Bill Shorten said he didn’t believe businesses were struggling to fill jobs because people would rather be on the boosted dole.

“I don’t want to be in a situation where we’re kicking people when they’re down,” he told the Nine Network.

“Frankly these people have sacrificed their jobs so that we can have the social distancing and social isolation to deal with the virus.”

He said he was concerned the Government had a secret plan to reduce JobSeeker but were waiting until after Saturday’s Eden-Monaro by-election.


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