Companies re-hire when states reopen: treasurer
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said companies were rehiring as coronavirus restrictions eased, indicating a strong economic recovery.
The National Skills Commission vacancy report for September confirmed that internet job postings rose 4.9%, ending a three-month decline.
That included a huge 16.7% jump for positions in NSW as employers braced for the state to reopen after a long coronavirus lockdown.
“Companies are rehiring as their doors reopen, and we know Australia’s economy will rebound strongly as a result … of the easing of restrictions across the country,” Frydenberg told Parliament on Wednesday.
Of the eight occupational groups tracked by the commission, demand was strongest for salespeople, up 17.8%.
Retailers hope to make up for the substantial trade losses they have suffered in recent months.
Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra said the closures have had a significant impact on discretionary retailers and department stores in particular.
âWith the resumption of retail in New South Wales, ACT and with Victoria following suit, businesses are looking to cash in on returning customers for the Christmas shopping rush,â Mr. Zahra.
âIt’s been a hell of three months for many people and businesses, but there is pent-up demand in parts of the country that have been locked down and people can’t wait to get out, shop and support their favorite businesses. . “
The latest SpendingPulse Mastercard, which reports national retail sales for all payment types, showed that while retail sales rose 0.6% in September, they were down 0.8% year-on-year. .
Notably, annual sales fell 32.5% in ACT, 10% in NSW and 7.9% in Victoria.
Closures in those areas, which account for more than half of the national population, are largely expected to have dragged the country into an economic contraction in the September quarter, perhaps by as much as 4%.
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute leading index fell to 0.5% in September, from 0.5% in August, suggesting the economy will fall below its long-term annual rate of 2.8%.
The index – which indicates the likely pace of economic activity in the next three to nine months – has been declining for five consecutive months, due to a sharp drop in the hours component.
Chief economist for digital credit reporting agency CreditorWatch, Harley Dale, said the index highlights the challenges faced by households and small businesses in the September quarter.
âCreditorWatch has said for some time that we will see a strong rebound in economic activity in the fourth quarter,â said Dr. Dale.
“It won’t be easy for everyone given the extent of the lockdowns, however. There are companies that will not survive even despite their best efforts and there are many that have already had to go out of business.”
It was the first time the index has been in negative territory since September of last year, when the country emerged from lockdowns.
“As we have seen in 2020, the leading index is expected to recover fairly quickly with the reopening of Sydney and Melbourne, in line with this strong outlook for the first half of 2022,” said Westpac chief economist Bill Evans.
Westpac expects the economy to grow 1.6% in the December quarter, before heading for a 5.6% increase in the first half of 2022.