The rapidly spreading omicron variant brings in a new wave of uncertainty and delays the post-pandemic recovery plan for Australia & New Zealand. As per the Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.’s index, jobs ads have declined 5.5% in December, after witnessing a 17.2% jump over the previous two months.
"It is possible that businesses have become more hesitant to hire due to the spread of omicron and the consequent uncertainty around consumer behavior and worker availability," said Catherine Birch, a senior economist at ANZ.
The holiday season could be another contributor to the declining job requirements. As employers resume work in January and work around their business plan for the new year, we can expect another surge in jobs.
Birch expects the job-switching rate to pick up in 2022. “With so much competition for labor and workers feeling secure in their jobs we should see more people moving to better jobs and asking for larger pay rises in 2022, contributing to stronger wages growth," she added.
Talent crisis in Australia and New Zealand is getting more and more intense. In the latest KPMG report, the biggest challenge for businesses heading into 2022 was crippling workforce shortages and inability to access the right talent.
NAB Chief Ross McEwan strongly believes that bringing more talent back into Australia would be key to addressing the shortage in the coming 12 months. “Almost every employer I talk to, from cafes, tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing, is saying ‘we can’t get workers’,” he said adding, “To get the economy really firing, we will need to bring people into Australia and make sure, as a nation, we're building a skilled workforce for the future."