Workers shift to 'future-proof' careers as economy sheds 13,900 jobs

As the economy loses 13,900 full-time positions, recruitment specialists say shifting to future-proof jobs could prove to be a smart strategy.

The odds of an official interest rate cut on Melbourne Cup Day have shortened, following the release of unemployment data.

But while the economy lost 13,900 jobs in September, there are some things job seekers can do to 'future-proof' their careers.

Sydney interior designer Greg Natale has just moved into his new work space to cater for his growing business.

"We're now 15 people, the previous office was 13 people and 90 square metres. We were all on top of each other and I just needed the space to be able to expand."

He has tripled his workforce to 15 in just three years.

He said refined consumer tastes, along with the housing boom, helped.

"Everyone has become very design savvy now and everyone can see the value in good design. You can see with developers, all developers now will invest in interior designers," he said.

"Those days when the developer just picked a finish here or didn't consider a kitchen, those days are gone. Now people expect good interior design."

Greg Natale works in one of nearly a dozen broader categories that recruitment company Hays calls "future-proofed."

Future-proof jobs

Hays senior regional director Adam Shapley said those categories include architecture, healthcare, insurance, legal, marketing, sales, financial planning and accountancy.

"There is a high demand from customers, consistently high demand, and it is consistently challenging to find candidates who are available for work, or looking for work, or looking to enter that sector."

There is high demand from financial-services companies like MAS Accountants.

"As of late we have been extremely busy to sort of cope with this workload. We are looking at hiring two new qualified accountants," said MAS business services manager, Yash Kalra.

Yash Kalra says MAS has experienced 20 per cent growth, year on year, over the last five years, and much of that thanks to new business.

"Just as an example, I had a client walk in yesterday because he's looking to open up his own boutique bakery. They're just looking to get out of their 9-to-5 jobs, or going for their ambitions, or to set up their new business and take the plunge."

14,000 full-time jobs lost

Not everyone is hiring, though.

Keeping a job became harder last month, with the Bureau of Statistics revealing nearly 14,000 full-time positions were lost, despite a steady unemployment rate of 6.2 per cent.

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said he expects the unemployment rate will rise.

"It is dangerous to read too much into it because these figures are volatile month to month and we have had some very strong figures," he said.

"That said, my feeling is that the figures are going to get softer going forward so this is a sign of things to come."

He said that is because the economy is growing below trend.

Pressure builds for rate cut

Westpac's decision to lift owner-occupier mortgage rates independent of the Reserve Bank may also hit consumer confidence.

Shane Oliver thinks, as a result, the Reserve Bank will cut official interest rates when its board next meets on Melbourne Cup Day, November 3.

He is not so sure consumer banks will pass on any reduction.

"I think what the banks will do is pass some of that on, but not all of it," he said.

"So if you think about the Westpac move, they went and hiked rates later in November by 20 basis points or 0.20 per cent, so if the bank before that goes ahead and cuts by 0.25 per cent - which I think they will do on November 3, Melbourne Cup Day - then Westpac will only pass 0.05 per cent of that cut on.

"That's the difference between the 0.2 and the 0.25. Westpac customers would see a 0.05 reduction in their mortgage."