Data4Lunch, second course, takeaway points — Emerging industry sectors and employment trends

AEDA is presenting data4lunch this September

The Adelaide Economic Development Agency (AEDA) held its second Data4Lunch event, hosted by KPMG, on 16 November 2022. AEDA Economic Research and Data Analyst Jordon Tomopoulos, alongside special guests Justin Jamieson of KPMG and Jane Johnston of StudyAdelaide, spoke about emerging industry sectors and employment trends. The trio revealed tasty titbits to help Adelaide organisations plan, seize opportunities and thrive.

KPMG South Australia chairman Justin Jamieson says South Australia is a tough market, but a promising one if we call out the challenges and take action. Here are Justins’s top facts and figures to takeaway:

  • From both an employer and employee perspective, there is no doubt South Australia is in a tight labour market at present. There are a number of reasons contributing to this, but restricted entry into Australia over the past few years, more South Australians returning from overseas and interstate seeking opportunities and changing lifestyle habits are among a few.
  • It is important to provide an employee value proposition that attracts and retains the best talent.
  • We can see people are very keen and invigorated about being with their colleagues in an office environment.
  • South Australia is a tough market, but we cannot shy away from economic growth because it is the only thing that can sustain us.
  • South Australia needs to attract capital, whether it be financial capital or people. It needs a unified approach where it isn’t afraid to call out challenges, and one that will ruthlessly drive initiative, attract people and drive capital.
  • Adopt a 'Team South Australia' mindset. Look for the opportunities, roll up your sleeves and get stuck into the challenges of driving economic growth. Adelaide is a great city, but we cannot shy away from the role we all play in making it more prosperous.

AEDA Economic Research and Data Analyst Jordon Tomopoulos says job vacancies have hit a record 40-year high — more than double pre-pandemic levels — and employers plan to increase staffing levels over the next three months. Here are Jordon’s top facts and figures to takeaway:

  • As of July, there were 480,500 more job vacancies in comparison to the 473,600[1] [LN1] unemployed individuals across Australia, creating unprecedented levels of recruitment difficulty across industry sectors.[2]
  • Large capital cities areas are finding it easier to recruit than regional counterparts, with Adelaide and Hobart finding it less difficult than Sydney and Melbourne.[3]
  • Despite worsening economic conditions, employers plan to increase staffing levels over the next three months.[4]
  • According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), job vacancies have hit a record 40-year high — more than double pre-pandemic levels.[5]
  • In South Australia, InDaily reported more than 50 per cent of businesses are experiencing labour shortages, up 12 per cent from October last year.[6] This has created nominal wage growth, however, due to rising inflation, real wage growth is falling. [7]
  • Private sector wages are now rising higher than public sector wages.7
  • Three quarters of South Australia’s employment is centred in greater Adelaide.[8]
  • The city makes up 15 per cent of the state’s 800,000 strong workforce. Recent ABS Census data revealed 130,000 South Australians called the City of Adelaide (the city) their main place of work in 2021.[9]
  • In the city, health care and social assistance became the highest employment sector, followed by public administration and safety and professional, scientific and safety services.
  • Retail trade saw the largest fall in workers between Census counts, followed by information media and telecommunications.
  • At a state level, there are skills shortages identified in industries such as mining, energy, civil construction, and defence.
  • Emerging industries range from software development, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cybersecurity and data analytics, all the way to biotech, fintech and gaming.
  • The workforce is also changing, with an increase in the proportion of professionals and managers who now account for 38 per cent of the city’s workforce. Meanwhile, there was a reduction in the amount of people working in administrative and sales roles.
  • Job mobility is on the rise and the age of the workforce is changing too, with Gen Y / Millennials / the children of Baby Boomers now the largest population and employment group in Australia.[10]

International students are key to keep South Australia’s economy growing, according to StudyAdelaide Chief Executive Jane Johnston. Here are her top facts and figures to takeaway:

  • China and India remain the two biggest markets for international students in South Australia.
  • Data showed that international students are returning to Adelaide, with more than a 28 per cent increase in student numbers in comparison to the same time last year.
  • South Australia is outperforming the Australian average by eight per cent, against a growth rate of 20 per cent nationally.
  • According to latest Austrade data, international students are studying a variety of courses with some of the most popular incuding nursing, food & hospitality, human welfare studies and information systems (Source: Austrade July International Student Data, October 2022)
  • Over the next five years, skilled job opportunities in Adelaide are projected to increase by 155,000 (Source: DIIS) and international students are studying the courses and developing the skills that will help to fill these jobs.
  • In August 2022, 30,000 current students and alumni were surveyed by StudyAdelaide and results indicated more than 75 per cent intend to live and work in Adelaide after completing their studies (Source: StudyAdelaide Student Survey, August).
  • The survey indicated that 59 per cent of students had a job, 34 per cent did not but, interestingly, 81 per cent of students were looking for casual, part-time, internship or graduate opportunities.