Demand for workers has dropped sharply and the decline is expected to accelerate as the coronavirus crisis takes it toll on the economy, new analysis shows.
Research by professional networking platform LinkedIn has identified a significant downturn in hiring in the aviation, travel and hospitality sectors.
"The travel bans and shutdown restrictions on social gatherings have had a significant impact on jobs and hiring intentions," LinkedIn senior director of APAC talent solutions Adam Gregory told AAP.
Such restrictions have also impacted service sectors such as tourism and retail, while the education sector has also slowed due to travel bans affecting the return of foreign students.
Mr Gregory said Linkedin's hiring data shows a gradual decline in hiring growth compared to a year ago, with a sharp drop in the week to March 19.
"We anticipate this decline in hiring growth to deepen in the coming weeks," he said.
Bucking the trend is the healthcare industry, which is likely to see greater demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The software and finance industries are more likely to have more jobs that can work remotely," Mr Gregory added.
Economists are anticipating a sharp jump in the unemployment rate in coming weeks.
Leading economists such as Bill Evans at Westpac are expecting the jobless rate to hit 13 per cent while AMP Capital's Shane Oliver sees a spike as high as 15 per cent, compared with 5.1 per cent as of February.
However, former ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan believes it could reach a staggering 17 per cent.
Treasury had estimated the impact of the coronavirus would see an additional one million people out of work, but already firms are shedding or have stood down between 60 and 90 per cent of staff.
"I think by the time we get to Easter we are going to probably see about 1.5 to 1.8 million job losses due to stand downs," Mr Hogan said.
Australian Associated Press