A market shortage of planning talent in Sydney and Melbourne has increased the pressure on employers to raise salaries and incentive packages for the attraction and retention of employees. This has led to concern that some inexperienced planners have been afforded too much responsibility too soon.

The latest figures reveal a potential market slowdown on this issue, with a cooling of the housing market and tighter loan lending providing limits to the amount of planning work available.

While Melbourne presents a more resilient picture, with a strong pipeline of infrastructure, residential and community projects leading to a continued increase in the number of planners hired in the city, feedback from some local planning studios suggests a drop-off in demand for future work. A continued market slowdown may lend its hand to a sustained period of lower demand for work.

Cause for optimism in Sydney lies with the build of Western Parkland City, a second airport and a range of transport infrastructure projects. Aside from volatile demand in Brisbane, figures show a steady and consistent demand for planning talent across the rest of Australia’s largest cities.

A curious note on the data is that previous increases in demand did not lead to interstate planner movement, potentially to perceptions of difficult new legislation or regulations.