The Job Market for 2023

The Job Market for 2023

By Jacquie Liversidge

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If you read this piece we wrote last year, and you actioned anything from this piece in your career decision making, you would have done quite well.

Dismayingly accurate, we foretold of incredible labour shortages across key industries which transformed what was from 2020 until 2021 an incredibly challenging and volatile job market.

And here I am today with some bad news for you.

You have a matter of months to make the best of this job market, and I would predict, potentially up to February next year at the latest.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is maintaining pace with other nations in increasing the cash rate to reduce inflation. So far, Australia has done remarkably well, maintaining inflation at just above 5%. Turkey is at 54%, Sri Lanka, at 55%, and Argentina at a ground shaking 70%.

Most European countries are averaging 7.5% inflation, and the United States are battling at 9.1%.

Bear with me, this does become relevant.

So, the reason that inflation is skyrocketing is due to a number of different factors all working together to create a global economic catastrophe.

In a post-COVID celebration, consumers are spending wildly. Global supply chain issues still remain, and will remain an enormous issue, sending the price of food, energy, and general supplies upwards.

When spending spirals out of control, businesses need more staff. They hire more staff, and we end up with a significantly reduced unemployment rate, which is currently sitting at 3.5%. It has not been like this since the early 1970s.

The buyer’s market and the great resignation have factored into wages being negotiated higher than they might have been before, and employers must offer a higher wage to attract capable staff, or, offer their existing staff higher wages.

Then, super has gone up by .5% to 10.5%, on top of already-increased wages.

Businesses suddenly need to charge more to consumers to maintain their current staffing levels.

Factored into all of this were already eye-wateringly high rents, and a boggling average household debt in Australia of $210,070. Our average household debt comprises 120% of our annual gross domestic product, trailing only Switzerland.

We are in economic trouble. The Reserve Bank of Australia is increasing the cash rate amid the supply chain issues, amid the increased debt to income ratio, amid the celebration of a post-COVID restricted world, amid record breaking floods across Australia, to stem this cyclical inflation.
Usually, the Reserve Bank of Australia makes this decision in a strong economy, not a weakened one.

Factoring this into your career

Things we are going to see are:

Technology and Automation: Automation and AI continue to change the job landscape, leading to a reduction in certain types of jobs (e.g., routine manual tasks) but a growth in others, such as those related to technology development, data analysis, and human-machine collaboration.

Remote Work: The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the way many companies approach work, with an increased emphasis on remote and hybrid working models. This trend might continue, allowing for a more distributed workforce but possibly impacting roles that are tied to physical locations.

Green Economy: With a global push towards sustainability, there may be growth in sectors related to renewable energy, environmental protection, and sustainability. This could include new opportunities in engineering, science, policy-making, and other fields.

Healthcare: The healthcare industry is likely to see continued growth due to the ongoing needs of an aging population, as well as continued attention on public health following the pandemic.

Skills Gap: The rapidly changing technological landscape might exacerbate existing skills gaps, with a demand for up-to-date skills in fields like cybersecurity, software development, AI, and more. Continuous learning and adaptability may become even more crucial.

Economic Considerations: Depending on the global economic situation, economic growth or recession could impact job availability in various sectors. Geopolitical tensions, changes in trade policies, and other macroeconomic factors could also influence the job market.

Diversity and Inclusion: There could be continued emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion within the workplace, with more companies investing in practices that support a diverse workforce.

Gig Economy: The rise of gig and freelance work may continue, offering flexibility but also leading to questions around job security, benefits, and workers’ rights.

Regulation and Legislation: Changes in laws and regulations, such as minimum wage adjustments, labour rights, and occupational safety standards, may also influence the job market.

Industry-Specific Trends: Different industries may experience unique trends based on technological innovation, consumer preferences, regulatory changes, and other factors.

This global economic environment affects you directly as a job hunter right now.

Mobilise now, and quickly, and ideally into a permanent role. Move towards companies and organisations that operate on a sustained contract basis, and avoid companies reliant on new customers, or in industries which are highly seasonal.

Do not chase a high wage above your skills capabilities, or something which seems unsustainable to a business. When the economic slow down hits, and it will be hard, you as the newcomer to the organisation will be the first to go and replaced with someone on a smaller wage.

Your safest and best bet right now? Go into a government role.

All year, I’ve been telling everyone to be as bold as possible. I’m now saying that by all means apply for the job, because you already don’t have the job, and will continue to not have the job if you don’t apply for it; but I would make calculated decisions on your next career move.

A good example of what is going to occur next can be demonstrated in the information technology sector. A skills shortage in this sector coupled with increased information technology needs meant that wages were awesome. Because wages were awesome, people trained in hordes for these sectors. Now, the wages are not so good anymore, and it’s difficult to find jobs.

So, keep in mind that:

  • If you’re first in, you’re likely first to go
  • If you feel overpaid, you probably are
  • The pendulum swings from winners to losers, and then back again

I wish you all the best for your job hunt, and urge a conservative and calculated approach from hereon.

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