The Economy and your Career – Should you be worried? What you can do to stay ahead:
This year Australian markets have seen growth and taken beatings. Through it all, many industries continue to flourish. Let’s look at the current economy in light of your career strategy.
The economy and your career
The Australian Stock market recently saw its worst day in three years after the US officially accused China of currency manipulation (Business Insider). The ASX 200 (an index representing Australia’s top 200 companies) dropped 2.44% on August 6th and has failed to recover over the last few weeks. With the prospect of a ‘No-deal Brexit’ economists all over the world are starting to sound the alarms on a possible recession. The uncertainty surrounding the global economy is not something you want to ignore, and hope goes away.
Other than the ongoing troubles it’s experienced throughout August the Australian market has been enjoying a favourable year throughout 2019, with the ASX 200 up around 1000 points since the start of January. These trends suggest that so far Australia hasn’t been impacted that badly by the global uncertainty, and is weathering the storm brewing as the US and China continue an ongoing trade war.
Unlike in other countries, careers in Australia still see growth opportunities. Unemployment remains steady at 5.1% mainly due to high population growth, rather than lack of job opportunities. The ABS figures for July 2019 estimate over 40,000 new jobs were added to the economy, most of these full time.
Keeping a roof over your head
For the property market, August brought good news for investors as house prices rose for the first time in two years (Business Insider). After the market peaked in 2017, the following year saw prices drop by 4.8% across the nation. By the end of 2018, the situation had reached the point where Deutsche Bank listed the risk of Australian property market crash, among Brexit and the US/China trade war, in its top 30 risks to the global economy for 2019 (The Guardian).
The start of the year delivered more bad news as the first quarter of 2019 saw prices in Sydney and Melbourne drop a further 3.9 and 3.8 per cent. By June, however, the market seemed to have bottomed out, and July saw prices finally rise, albeit by only 0.1%.
Interest rate cuts and the re-election of the Coalition government seem to be the main causes of the market stabilising slightly. While many analysts are now projecting very slow growth over the next twelve months, the 8.3% drop in the market since its peak in 2017 still has many investors wary.
The slowdown of housing sales is reflected in a decrease in job advertisement in the property and real-estate sectors. People in those sectors looking to shift gears in their careers would benefit from a transition to leadership positions in business management, a career pathway in business administration, or utilising their people skills in human resources.
Infrastructure boom creates job opportunities
Australia’s infrastructure boom has continued largely unscathed. In the most recent round of budgets, state governments all over the country set aside tens of billions of dollars for work on transport infrastructure and other public improvement projects.
Victoria, where infrastructure spending has tripled since the Andrews government was elected in 2014, has announced a $27.4 billion “suburban transport blitz”. Queensland plans to spend $50 billion on infrastructure over the next four years. New South Wales plans to almost double that, with $93 billion set aside for infrastructure spending, highlighted by $55.6 billion for road and rail projects (ABC). The States won’t be doing it alone, with the Federal government pledging $100 billion towards transport projects over the next decade.
Infrastructure projects have the short term advantage of stimulating the economy by providing jobs to workers and cycling funds as governments spend big. One of the main benefits is in the medium to long term increase in productivity. By reducing commute times, new infrastructure is allowing people increased access to different areas and opportunities. It’s a good time to consider any career opportunities where commuting will be made easier in the next 2-5 years, and start upskilling your qualifications in readiness.
Education as an investment in your future
Infrastructure projects continue in response to Australia’s population increase, particularly in the urban hubs of Melbourne and Sydney. Many of the projects currently underway are scheduled for completion in the 2020s. Aided by the Australian Government able to borrow money at the lowest rate since Federation, it doesn’t seem as if the infrastructure boom will slow down any time soon.
Australia will continue to need a steady supply of skilled workers. An investment in education could seem a smarter choice than the stock market. A diploma will place you in the position to take full advantage of Australia’s booming infrastructure sector and obtain a skill set that is in high demand nationwide.
Growth areas where qualified and skilled workers are needed to aid infrastructure projects include Project Management, Quality Auditing, Building and Construction, Logistics, and Human Resources . Online diploma courses are a wise choice for aspiring professionals wanting to invest in their long-term career potential and stability. In the current economy, online study is a smart decision for your future.