Australia’s enormous appetite for gourmet food and drinks has led not only to an international reputation as a foodie destination, but changed the way we spend our money and the types of jobs that are available – some of which would not have existed 20 years ago.
From specialty coffee and craft beer to brunch and fine dining, Australians are spending more of their disposable incomes on dining and drinking out, driving a phenomenon some have termed the ‘hipster service economy’.
New data analysis by jobs site Indeed has found that our changing tastes have transformed sectors of the economy in recent years, leading to a “mini jobs boom” in certain service industries.
This has resulted in a steep rise in the number of job seekers looking for “hipster” hospitality work since 2015, Indeed said.
The number of job seekers hunting for “hipster” jobs in Australia increased by 38.5 per cent between 2015 and 2018, data showed.
Jobs were tagged as ‘hipster’ if they involved words such as ‘vintage’, ‘pop up’, ‘craft’, ‘vegan’, and ‘yoga’, plus any form of ‘beer’, ‘brew’, or ‘brewery’.
‘Organic’ also made the list when combined with words such as ‘farm’, ‘food’ and ‘gardening’, as did ‘coffee’ when combined with words such as ‘independent’, ‘specialty’ and ‘artisan’.
The research also confirmed Australia’s status as the world leader when it comes to coffee culture.
While Australia and the UK were near equal in the number of barista roles available, Australia streaked ahead when it came to the number of people searching for those roles.
The number of jobs for baristas in Australia has nearly doubled, rising by 45 per cent over the past four years, Indeed found.
Australia’s craft beer boom has also been a boon to bartenders, with the number of jobs rising by 289 per cent over the same period.
In 2018 alone, 52 new breweries opened, bringing Australia’s total number of craft ale producers to 585.
The rise in “hipster” service jobs reflects the nation’s changing tastes and priorities, Indeed economist Callam Pickering said.
“It says a lot about how society in general has changed, what consumer preferences are, and what we prioritise as a society,” Mr Pickering said.
We place greater emphasis on great coffee and good food, and that’s being reflected in the hiring decisions being made, and the jobs we’re taking on.”
While the sector accounts for a relatively small slice of the overall economy – about 2 per cent or 240,000 people – it serves to illustrate “how the economy and society can change over time”, Mr Pickering said.
“When we look at the demand for quality food and good coffee, that is underpinned by strong population growth,” he said.
“We’re a busy population, so we don’t always have the time or capacity to create a good meal”.
The data also pointed to a growing demand for health and lifestyle products and services, with searches for yoga jobs increasing by 180 per cent since 2015.
Service industries are expected to “dominate jobs growth” over the next two decades, Mr Pickering said.
Demographic factors, such as Australia’s ageing population, will contribute to a strong demand for health and aged care services, while the growing population will “underpin strong demand for education services,” he said.