Newcastle job market update, June 2021

Newcastle job market update, June 2021

With the close of June and the 20-21 financial year, it’s time we look at the figures to see how the Newcastle job market is faring.


Newcastle job market by industry


At Monica Clare Recruitment we monitor the Newcastle job market using the business intelligence product, PowerAdder. Open jobs, position characteristics and close rates form part of our quantitative reporting. Qualitatively, we measure candidate sentiment, the perceived value of work benefits and the priority placed on position criteria.


Office Support


Listings in the office support market have continued tracking on their upwards trajectory. Total listings in this space saw a slight increase of 3.5 per cent from May to June.

Permanent and contract roles remain strong and consistent, while part-time listings were the dark horse. From May to June, part-time opportunities increased by a massive 65 per cent. This follows a period between March and May which saw this same set decrease by half. It’s speculated this jump in part-time roles may be caused by two things:

    • Employer confidence as they close out the financial year.
    • The market’s response to a demand from candidates.


On the desk, we’ve seen:

    • Client flexibility, particularly if they can’t get the right candidate at full-time commitment.
    • Candidates testing the water. There is an interest in broadening scope, but it takes a big offering for a candidate to take the leap.
    • Candidates early in their careers are becoming overwhelmed with the number of options they have. Increasingly clients are hiring less-skilled workers because the demand is so great.





The tech market has fluctuated quite a bit since March this year. With moderate troughs and peaks over the last couple of months, the tech space entered another downturn in June. This is mainly reflected in temp and contract opportunities which reduced 55 per cent last month.

Overall, job opportunities across perm, temp and part-time reduced by 7 per cent. Permanent opportunities are still the strongest and most advertised.

The drop in temp roles may be caused by:

    • Several long-term contract roles connected to new government projects in the region were filled. These roles advertised last month were for between 12 to 24 months.
    • Market readiness to employ permanent employees remotely.
    • Lower hiring rate as businesses closed out the financial year.


On the desk we’ve seen:

    • A willingness from employers to redesign job roles, leaning on a person’s strength instead of sticking to a job description.
    • The prominence of entry-level jobs or very experienced positions being advertised, not a lot of in-between.





June was a strong month for the marketing industry. Job listings increased by 23 per cent and there was strong growth for permanent opportunities, rising by 30 per cent. This is a positive sign for market recovery in the region, especially because the marketing sector had declined month on month since March 2021.

There’s evidence the Newcastle job market is responding to requests from the workforce for flexibility. In June, the number of part-time listings doubled, and the number of temp opportunities halved. This is also in line with candidate sentiment last month, where they expressed wanting clear growth paths within companies and employers investing in their careers.

On the desk, we note:

    • Marketing jobs were quite affected by lay-offs during the pandemic in 2020. The increase in listings is a sign employers are beginning again to invest in marketing.
    • There is a strong start-up presence in Newcastle. These start-ups are hiring in the marketing space to build out their teams.





Job listings in HR have grown, increasing by 19 per cent in June. All work types have shared this growth, with permanent up by 10 per cent, temp up by 55 per cent and part-time increasing by 50 per cent.

Permanent positions continue to be the most in-demand in the market, which has been a trend since March 2021. There was notable growth in the temp HR market which is likely linked to EOFY.

On the desk, we have seen:

    • A lot of contracting opportunities are listed to support new systems being implemented, such as digital transformation projects.
    • Many of the June listings were focused on streamlining business processes, preparing for the new financial year of were newly created roles.
    • Candidates want job security first and foremost. Contract roles are less attractive, typically, as they don’t offer this security. What could influence a candidate to take a contract role is if they would learn a new skill or train in a new industry.





After a strong start to the year, engineering listings dropped by 20 per cent in June. This decrease was across all work types: permanent, temp and part-time. The most significant drop was in part-time roles, which moved from 1 to 0. Also significant, temp assignments decreased by 37.5 per cent.

Permanent opportunities account for the bulk of the listings and dropped only 17 per cent from May to June. Government grants have stimulated economic activity in the region, and this is probably the reason this was drop was not too significant.

In-house we note:

    • An upturn in opportunities for geotechnical engineers and civil engineers.
    • Strong appetite from clients.
    • Candidates are reluctant to make a move. If you’re a candidate considering a move, now would be an opportune time as you will have options to choose from.
    • Currently a lot of headhunting in the market, and a trend for individuals to leave smaller consultancies for tier one.
    • For smaller consultancies, we recommend focusing on retention strategies and EVP. MCR are happy to consult if this is your current priority.






Listings to the construction Newcastle job market have experienced net growth from March. Openings in this sector continue to be strong, growing by 11 per cent across all work types in June. Permanent positions account for the bulk of listings and remain steady, growing minimally by 4 per cent.

The changes to the temp and part-time markets were more significant. Temp grew by 50 per cent and part-time from 0 to 2. The addition of more listings in this space may be due to:

    • Finishing off projects before the end of the financial year and investing in a flexible workforce.
    • Offering more work-life balance.


On the desk, we’ve seen:

    • Heavy in jobs coming through, but still a candidate short market.
    • Candidates are open to talking about transitioning away from their current situation but want assurance around projects before they commit.
    • Salary continues to be a consideration for candidates, but project pipeline, culture and career opportunity are often more important.
    • It’s busy in Newcastle with the Singleton bypass, community housing projects and the Newcastle CBD multi-res space. Expect an influx of more jobs as these projects and similar drop.




Accounting remained steady from May to June, with the total number of listings remaining unchanged. There was a swing with temp listings, which were stronger in May, decreasing and part-time listings, weaker in May, increasing. The exact percentages being a 114 per cent increase for part-time and a decrease of 66 per cent for temp.

Part-time opportunities have followed the positive trend observed over the last six months (see: March update). The swing from temp to part-time can be attributed to seasonality in the sector and EOFY.

In-house, we note:

    • There has been an increase in candidate activity following EOFY.
    • There is a shortage of contract candidates in this space. Candidates prefer permanent opportunities. As many employers were finding it difficult to source candidates for contracts, they responded by looking at their structure to see how they could create permanent vacancies. Whether this is full-time, part-time, or part-time job share.
    • Increased flexibility from clients.





From May to June, listings in the legal sector of the Newcastle job market slightly increased (9 per cent). The work type with the strongest growth was permanent, increasing by 22 per cent. Listings for part-time and temp decreased from May to June.

Flexi-work continues to be an area that candidates in this space are requesting. The decline in temp and part-time roles could be in response to market demand for permanent positions with competitive salaries. The high volume of vacancies is also putting upwards pressure on salary.

On the desk, we note:

    • Strong across all specialties.
    • Candidate-short market. Very low applicant response.
    • The demand for legal support staff such as Legal Secretaries has increased.




From May to June, listings in the executive space of the Newcastle job market decreased. The total percentage decrease was 21 per cent and the decline was shared by all work types. Permanent saw a 13 per cent decline, temp was halved and there were no advertised part-time opportunities in June.

Market demand may have been lower due to the time of year as businesses were closing out the financial year. We expect July to be a stronger month, with new budgets allocated. Growing market demand should see out the rest of the year.

On the desk, we note:

  • Many positions are advertised to support the execution of FY22 business strategies and building succession plans.
  • Increase in listings for job titles such as Sales Manager, Operations Manager and Business Manager,
  • Increased appetite for people wanting to relocate. There has been a noticeable influx of candidates from Sydney and Melbourne.



Australian job market


In June we saw some very promising figures:

  • June was the eighth consecutive month that saw a decline in the unemployment rate. This rate now sits at 9 per cent.
  • Job ads also increased. Vacancies are roughly double pre-pandemic levels, which puts the ratio of unemployed to job vacancy at 1.9.


This is great news for candidates, but it does make it a difficult market to fill vacancies if you’re an employer. In recruitment, we expect to continue to see headhunting as the main tactic to source talent as competition becomes fiercer.


Methodology differences make drawing any conclusions difficult, but the Newcastle job market is following nationwide trends relative to the data.


If you’d like us to include additional data in our next report, reach out to a  team member, call the office (02) 4967 5236 or email [email protected] to let us know.