Surveys show jobs slump

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Two recent reports reveal that job advertisement rates in Australia are plummeting, with financial services vacancies taking a huge hit. We speak to Olivier Group and ANZ - the firms behind the surveys - to see what's in store for finance sector employment.

Online ads for financial services jobs have fallen almost 60% over the past year (including a 20.8% fall in January), according to the Olivier Job Index.

Index author Bob Olivier says client services (down 75%), corporate finance & i-banking (-72%), financial planning (-60%) and analysts (-59.8%) are among the most badly affected job functions.

The latest ANZ Job Advertisements Report shows that job ads on the internet and in newspapers fell by 6.3% in January, taking the annual fall to 33.7%. Although the report doesn't break down jobs by sector, Katie Dean, a senior economist from ANZ, says financial services "is in for a tough year".

She comments: "The Australian sector is healthier than the US and Europe, but it's going to come under pressure. Profits have been hit much harder than other industries over the last 12 months. Unfortunately this will create a tough environment for employment in the sector."

Any glimmers of hiring hope? Olivier says corporate restructuring/recovery may present job opportunities for candidates with corporate finance experience. "These same skills might also find a home with insolvency firms who are working with the banks on pre-appointment work."

He also believes the Big Four banks are in a good position to cherry pick talent as the global firms continue to suffer. "The Aussie banks have recognised the unique opportunity the current job market presents and while they probably won't increase numbers, they'll still be recruiting. Also, once bonuses are paid (or not paid) we should see some turnover as people start to move between the banks."

Will job advertisements continue to fall so fast for the rest of the year? Let us know your thoughts below.

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