The rate of the JobSeeker payment with the coronavirus supplement has reduced the candidate pool for entry level and some skilled jobs, recruitment agency managers say.
JK Personnel managing director Tim Walshe told The Courier the rate of Jobseeker was reducing the number of people actively looking for work in certain positions.
"We have got less people in our candidate pool than we have ever had in the last 10 years for lower to entry level type positions," he said.
"We have never had less people applying for work for those kind of roles."
Normally if we advertise a role in a manufacturing environment working on a production line we would normally receive between 50 and 100 applications.Tim Walshe, JK Personnel
Mr Walshe said JK Personnel was currently working to fill around five unskilled laboring positions and 20 moderately skilled laboring positions.
It also has vacancies for 12 welders, six spray painters, a machine operator and a few administration positions.
"Normally if we advertise a role in a manufacturing environment working on a production line we would normally receive between 50 and 100 applications," Mr Walshe said.
"At the moment we are getting somewhere between five and 15."
Ange Connor, director of Ballarat recruitment agency Inspire HQ, said she too was experiencing difficulty in filling some positions and not a lot of interest from candidates.
"Certainly at that lower end we are seeing a shortage of applications which is quite interesting given the unemployment levels that are being quoted," she said.
"However at the other end of the scale those high level more skilled positions, which is probably the sector of the market we tend to recruit more for, we have seen an increase in applications, but it is very based on sector.
"I think JobSeeker is definitely having an impact on the lower end of the market and resulting in us seeing less people actively looking for work because the payments have been higher.
"I have had people say they are happy to get that sort of money and not have to do any work."
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Ballarat Workforce XS managing director Rebecca Ponsonby said she had not experienced any major issues filling positions, as most roles they filled were professional positions and trade qualified roles.
Mr Walshe said while he believed there was a need to raise the unemployment benefit above its previous Newstart level, the current high rate was effecting the candidate market.
"We have businesses that are busy right now and they can't find people to deliver the work they want to deliver," he said.
"If we are about to enter some not so positive times it would be a real shame for those businesses to miss out on an opportunity to enjoy some prosperity for however long it does last.
"Personally I think there needs to be other ways to provide support for people because this is having a negative impact on businesses that are trying to get stuff done now."
Ms Connor said the job market had remained strong in Ballarat despite the lockdown in Melbourne, but this would change if lockdown was to be enforced in regional areas again at any stage.
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