- As employers scale back on hiring amid the weaker economic outlook, job vacancies declined by 3.4% over the quarter to 54,000 in September 2011. Nevertheless, this remained higher than the 50,200 vacancies recorded a year ago.
- Service & sales workers (11,550 or 22% of total vacancies) such as waiters, security guards and shop sales assistants were most in demand, followed by associate professionals & technicians (9,200 or 17%) and professionals (7,760 or 15%).
- Vacancies were available for all educational levels. Specifically, those requiring at least primary or lower education (13,220 or 25%) chalked up the largest number of vacancies, followed by openings requiring minimally secondary (10,600 or 20%) and degree qualification (10,550 or 20%).
- Services generated the bulk (77% or 40,460) of the openings in 2011, led by community, social & personal services (11,450 or 22%), wholesale & retail trade (6,360 or 12%), accommodation & food services (5,010 or 9.5%) and administrative & support services (4,940 or 9.4%). Manufacturing and construction accounted for 15% (or 7,990) and 6.8% (or 3,590) of the vacancies respectively.
- Nearly two in three vacancies (65%) in 2011 required working experience. This comprised 24% requiring job-specific; 17%, industry-specific experience; and the remaining 24% requiring general work experience. Positions for managers & administrators, professionals, associate professionals & technicians and craftsmen & related trades workers were more likely to require job- or industry-specific working experience, compared with openings for service & sales workers and cleaners, labourers & related workers, which commonly did not require working experience.
- The majority or around two in three positions were vacant for less than six months in 2011. Nevertheless, amid the tight labour market, the proportion of vacancies unfilled for at least six months rose to 35% in 2011 from 33% a year ago, but remained below the high of 36% recorded in 2007. In absolute terms, there were 18,230 vacancies unfilled for at least six months in 2011. Generally, positions for professionals, managers, executives & technicians (PMETs) were less likely to be unfilled for extended periods, with only 14% of such openings vacant for at least six months compared with nearly half (49%) of non-PMET openings. Consequently, non-PMET positions accounted for 83% of the vacancies that were unfilled for at least six months.