If you are a recruiter, the best way to make sense of the national unemployment rate, which currently sits at 5.3%, is to ignore it. Well, not really. But the real meat of the unemployment story lies in regional data. Broken down by states, Tasmania and NSW lead the nation in unemployment numbers, while employers in states like NT and ACT are likely to struggle with recruiting the right staff (Refer chart. Source: ABS).
Factor in the health of regional economies and one can have a fairly good idea of how difficult finding new staff will be. Commonwealth Bank measured the economic prowess of the states using eight different criteria and ranked them as follows:
- South Australia
- Northern Territory
Unsurprisingly, where a state lagged in economic development the unemployment rate tends to be high. The best performing economies like WA and the ACT have unemployment rates much below the national average.
If you are a recruiter, arguably there will be more demand per capita for your skills in states like WA and the ACT (From an agency perspective having a presence in growing states would make sense – demand is likely to be consistent and competition lesser.) Dig deeper and one can unearth other data like job vacancies, supply of workforce (broken down by industry), labour productivity and turnover rates. A discerning recruiter can interpret the above sets of data and have a clearer picture on how and where to distribute limited resources.
Recruiting is mostly local, so regional data is what matters. Having a good grasp of local data should be an essential task when planning a sourcing strategy; by all means it should precedes any tactical activity (and yes that includes social media).