To bring you a comprehensive review of the Covid-era Job Market

And projection of what you can expect in 2022!
Read on & let us know how we can help.

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Rover is a data collection and analysis tool built specifically for the world of recruitment. Through Rover, recruiters, corporations, journalists, and educational institutions can analyse job posting and employer data to use in sales, marketing, business intelligence, and human resource management.

Rover is the most comprehensive job market database and analytics tool available in all of Australia and New Zealand, sourcing its information directly from all major job boards and thousands of career sites every day. Rover makes it possible to identify leads, find trending opportunities, and adapt to the ever-changing job market.


2022 Job market projection compared with 2020 & 2021


Drop in jobs from
Feb 2020 to Mar 2020


Rise in jobs from
Mar 2020 to Mar 2021


Rise in jobs from
Jan 2020 to Jan 2021


Projected rise in jobs from
Jan 2020 to Q1 2022

These past two years have been unique in the recruitment world. At the start of the pandemic in 2020, there was a 102% decrease in job postings from Feb 2020 to March 2020 in Australia. By March 2021, however, we saw an incredible recovery with a 248% increase in jobs advertised. Which was actually a 49% increase on pre-COVID postings. 

With vaccines, scientific consensus of greater levels of herd immunity thanks to Omicron, and growth after an otherwise stagnant economy, 2022 appears to show a steady rise in new positions, with a projected increase of 44% from Jan 2020 to Q1 2022.



How employer & recruiter job activity compared in 2020 & 2021


Are jobs posted
by recruiters


For recruiters to return to
Jan 2020 % of market


Rise in jobs by recruiters
Jan 2020 to Q4 2021


21% Recruiter vs
32% Employer Volatility

COVID’s effect on volatility can also be seen in the differences between jobs posted and managed by recruiters, and jobs posted and managed by direct employers.

Although employer-led recruitment has always been more common overall than recruiter-led recruitment, recruiters themselves were less likely to experience the ebbs and flows of the market (21% volatility) compared to employers (32% volatility), who tended to shy away from hiring new employees during difficult times.

While recruiters were negatively impacted in Mar 2020, in Australia it only took 3 months for recruiters to recover back to their Jan 2020 percentage of jobs posted. Recruitment remained fairly constant afterwards in the number of jobs advertised, with a low of 92,283 job openings led by recruiters and a high of 138,960.


Perhaps most interesting is that these numbers are 43% higher than pre-pandemic 2020, as neither January nor February exceeded 89,000 new recruiter-led openings. Meanwhile, employers saw their open positions jump up and down from a low of 173,304 after 2020 Q2 to a high of 336,351 – nearly double.

One thing we can take away from this is that recruiters have remained an invaluable resource (average 33% jobs advertised over 2020 and 2021). It is possible that changes in the labor market had employers relying on recruiters to find and identify talent. Many have reported a shortage of available workers, which makes the efforts of recruiters even more valuable.


Which industries hired the most in 2020 & 2021


Trades & Health with
almost half the market


Most Jobs in 2021:
Trades & Services


Healthcare Jobs over
Jun & Jul 2020


Rise in Hospitality jobs
from 2020 to 2021

Every industry experienced its ups and downs between 2020 and 2021. Healthcare and Trades & Services consistently had the most vacancies, holding 45% of the jobs advertised over the two years. Trades & Services had 196,852 postings in 2021 alone. Not surprisingly with lockdowns, Hospitality was particularly volatile with a 78% increase in 2021 from 2020. 

Meanwhile, Manufacturing, Transport, and Logistics has been in high demand, and ICT has seen a surge in Q2 and Q3 of 2021, at times ranking in the top 3 of all open positions. This makes some intuitive sense, as tech jobs – many of which can be completed remotely without interruption – were less likely to struggle during lockdowns, and likely saw some growth that spurred more hires.


It is also interesting to see the overall growth of job openings in Retail. Between the end of Q1 until the end of Q4 in 2021, Retail jobs saw small but measurable improvements in new openings, ahead of early 2020’s numbers, even before the pandemic hit.

Most industries loosely tracked the overall job market, as we can see consistent dips in Q1 2020, Q1 2021, and the beginning of Q4 2021, but the rebounds were far stronger in industries like Manufacturing and Trade

Sales has also not seen the same rebound as other industries have, starting and ending lower than almost every other industry since March 2020. As a broad category, it is unlikely that there is any one single reason that sales jobs have struggled, but COVID has caused several companies to lean on automation, while also taking away common sales tactics, like in-person networking, both of which may have affected the market.


Which companies hired the most of certain roles in 2020 & 2021


Rise in SESLHD hiring
from 2020 to 2021


Qld Health with the most
Nurse jobs in 2020 & 2021


Rise in Nurse Demand
Q1 v Q3 2020


The top 0.1% of employers
contribute 10% of nurse hiring

Using Rover, we took a deep dive into who is hiring for a variety of distinctive positions. 

Accountant: Findex hired the most accountants in November 2020 at 43 total, although in 2020 Q4 Kelly+Partners went on a hiring spree with 82 new open accountant positions.

Administration:  Harvey Norman hired the most administrators in October 2020 (49), yet the Queensland Government was not far behind in the same timeframe (40). 

Marketing: Daronet Australia created new openings for 440 marketing positions in 2020, only to advertise for fewer than 36 total in 2021. Salesforce, Woolworths Group and Westpac all saw steady growth in their advertised marketing roles.


Nurse: Registered nurses were consistently in high demand across all of Australia. Queensland Health hired the most with 4,213 nurse vacancies advertised in 2020 and 2021 combined, followed by Healthscope with 1,771.

Sales: Harvey Norman held 36% of the advertised sales positions, with Spendless Shoes and Reece Group being the next top advertisers for sales roles. 

Software developer:  Infosys consistently hired the most software developers with 1,735 in 2020 and 2021 combined. Hastha Solutions and Macquarie Group were 2nd and 3rd, respectively, but at less than 33% of Infosys overall during that time.

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How did lockdowns impact NSW & VIC in 2020 & 2021


Rise in VIC Jobs Sep-Nov 2021
despite rise in Covid cases


Peak in NSW Jobs
in Nov 2021


Peak in VIC Jobs
in Nov 2021


Fall in NSW jobs after
June 2021 lockdown

Both VIC and NSW experienced COVID-19 related lockdowns to minimise the spread of the virus. There was a 10-15% decrease in new job postings after the June 2021 lockdown. 

One area of surprise is the relationship between COVID cases and job openings. In the absence of lockdowns, case rates appear to have no significant effect on job vacancies. With both NSW and VIC peaking in Nov 2021 (117,028 and 97,817 respectively), and there being a 31% increase in VIC jobs in Sep to Nov 2021 despite the increase in reported cases. 

There was a belief that higher case rates would affect the economy, but if it did, it did not affect jobs advertised. It is likely the frequency of new job openings is related to the so-called “Great Resignation.” With people leaving their positions, employers then need to hire for those vacancies, increasing the number of job openings. In 2022, we’ll want to look at whether or not new vacancies increase as a response to case count, lending credence to this theory.



When & in what states did opportunities present themselves in 2021


ACT Jobs Per Capita
Q1/Q2 2021


Jobs Declined in Q3


Avg. growth in NSW / VIC
from Q3 to Q4 2021


Fall in Jobs in 4 states
during Q4 2021

Some states saw more job openings than others in Q1 and Q2 of 2021. ACT saw the most new openings by far at 8.6% adjusted for population. Q1 saw NSW and VIC with 4.4% and 4.3%, respectively, however Q2 saw the Northern Territory with the second most new openings at 4.9%, adjusted for population (increase in 2,477 job postings that quarter).

QLD, SA and TAS saw the fewest openings as proportionate to the population. It is possible that these openings are due to economic growth, or due to other factors, like layoffs, resignations, or relocation. 

When we look at state growth per quarter, we see that most states and territories had an excellent Q2. We can also see that Q3 and Q4 were turbulent for all states outside of Queensland, with 4 states decreasing an average of 10% in jobs posted.


Rover can show you where the opportunities are
& prompt your consultants to act.