The Seek Employment Index for Australia fell a seasonally adjusted 9.7% in March compared to 8.5% fall in February, suggesting greater competition for jobs, a report from the employment website SEEK said Friday.

The SEEK Employment Index measures the ratio of new job ads to job applications on the SEEK website.

During the month, the number of new job advertisements declined a seasonally adjusted 9.4% from February. However, new job applications rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4% month-on-month in March.

Managing Director of SEEK, Joe Powell noted that while job seekers did not appear to be applying for more jobs, the number of job applications per jobseeker remained relatively stable over the year, suggesting job seekers are remaining focused.

Moreover, Powell said recent evidence showed that even with the Australian job market slowing down, job seekers were looking at further training and education options to improve their offerings to employers.

In March, according to the SEEK study, the top five sought after jobs were education, consulting and corporate strategy, healthcare, legal and the government. However, the five most competitive jobs were in manufacturing, customer care, hospitality, administration and retail sectors.

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