Online job vacancies in Australia’s design and construction industry contracted further in October as demand for workers throughout the sector continues to weaken.

As the building downturn carries on, data from the Department of Jobs and Small Business shows that online job vacancies fell across most architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) disciplines last month.

In construction, vacancies for construction managers dropped from 3,786 in September to 3,692 in October.

Construction manager vacancies have fallen during six of the past seven months and are down almost 16 percent compared with the 4,389 unfilled positions recorded one year ago in October 2018.

In design, vacancies contracted for architects and landscape architects, interior designers, urban and regional planners, civil engineers, industrial and mechanical engineers and mining engineers (see chart).

Only electrical engineers recorded a slight increase in vacancies (from 365 to 371).

The data is not seasonally adjusted and may be affected by seasonal influences.

Nevertheless, the numbers are further confirmation that demand for AEC professionals has weakened.

This is particularly so for architects, whose activity is heavily concentrated around building as opposed to civil infrastructure.

Over the past year, vacancies for architects and landscape architects, interior designers and urban and regional planners have plummeted from 833 to 694, from 4820 to 222 and from 321 to 235 respectively.

The latest data comes amid expectations of a cooling in the AEC job market.

In its recent Construction Market report, Australian Construction Industry Forum said it expected construction sector employment levels to drop by 23,000 in 2019/20 to go from 1.182 million in 2018/19 to 1.159 million in 2019/20.

This would happen as an upturn in capital intensive infrastructure projects was more than outweighed by continued contraction in the labour intensive residential sector.