70% of Aussies to change jobs this year: What you've missed

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7 out of 10 workers to change jobs, $3 billion paid for dodgy advice, card debt hits 18-year low.

Here are five things you may have missed this week.

70% of workers plan to pull up stumps

aussies to look for new job this year

Last year Microsoft predicted 2022 would see the "Great Resignation", when two out of five workers globally say "Yeah nah" to the boss and hand in their notice. But it turns out many more Australians could be planning to pull up stumps.

Research by recruitment firm Robert Half has found 70% of surveyed Australian workers are likely to look for a job in the next 12 months.

The timing may never be better. Job advertisement rates are at a 13-year high while job vacancy rates have increased by 74% compared February 2020, meaning multiple job opportunities are up for grabs for skilled workers.

Andrew Brushfield, Director Robert Half Australia  says, "As the economy rebounds, the demand for skilled talent rises and this has quickly tipped the balance towards a candidate market."

$3.15 billion forked out for dodgy advice

The 'fee for no service' scandal that saw financial advice customers pay for dodgy advice - or no advice at all (in some cases because the customer was dead), has come with a hefty price tag.

This week, money watchdog ASIC announced that six of Australia's largest banking and financial services institutions have paid or offered to pay a total of $3.15 billion in compensation to customers caught up in the scandal.

AMP, ANZ, CBA, Macquarie, NAB and Westpac have all forked out compensation. NAB has been hardest hit, with compensation of more than $1.1 billion paid or pledged to clients who were charged for financial advice that never materialised.

Close to 1.3 million Australians have now received compensation for dodgy financial advice.

Credit card debt at lowest in 18 years

Australians aren't waiting for credit card interest rates to drop to start paying off their card debt.

Analysis by Compare the Market, shows Australians are knuckling down on outstanding credit card debt. And they're doing it without the help of their banks.

Credit card interest rates haven't budged an inch despite interest rates for home loans being at record lows.

According to Reserve Bank data, the average interest rate for 'standard' credit cards is 19.94%, and it hasn't moved since the beginning of the pandemic back in March 2020.

In that time, total credit card debt has plunged from more than $28 billion to $18 billion - a massive 35% drop. It takes credit card debt to its lowest level in 18 years.

Compare the Market spokesperson William Jolly says more people are saying no to high-interest credit cards. He adds, "In a period when money is tight and interest rates are at historic lows, people have been looking at their high credit card interest rates and asking themselves 'why am I still paying this?'"

Country property values climb as much as 43%

Regional property markets, once regarded as the poor relation of state capitals, are having their day in the sun.

CoreLogic's latest Regional Market Update, shows the median home value across Australia's combined regional areas jumped 26.1% over the 12 months to January 2022, outpacing combined capital city price growth of 21.3%.

It's seen regional areas that used to be cheap and cheerful holiday destinations command seven-figure sums for local homes.

Kiama, 90 kilometres south of Sydney, recorded the largest house price increase of 43.9% over the past year, taking the median value to a whopping $1,633,086. The Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven region of NSW recorded a 38.2% jump in house values over the last 12 months. That's followed by Queensland's Gold Coast (36.3%) and the Sunshine Coast (35.4%).

CoreLogic's Head of Research Eliza Owen, says the trend of rising regional values has maintained momentum for almost two years. But it's unlikely the red hot pace of price growth will continue.

Declining affordability, higher interest rates and employer expectations that workers will make a return to the office rather than working remotely, could all dampen price growth. Owen expects, "Growth rates in regional Australia to start slowing early this year."

Financial wellbeing better than pre-pandemic

While many of us hanker for the good old days of pre-COVID, it turns out our financial wellbeing is better now than prior to the pandemic.

A report published by the Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research and the Commonwealth Bank, shows the financial wellbeing of Australians remains higher compared to two years ago.

The findings, which are based on transaction data of more than five million CommBank customers, found high levels of financial wellbeing are underpinned by healthy household savings. The median savings balance in December 2021 was a massive 42% higher than December 2019.

"These increased savings represent Australians hedging against uncertainties - uncertainties related to COVID-19, as well as rising inflation and returns on savings, both of which may make longer term impacts on people's financial wellbeing," says Professor John de New from the Melbourne Institute.

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A former Chartered Accountant, Nicola Field has been a regular contributor to Money for 20 years, and writes on personal finance issues for some of Australia's largest financial institutions. She is the author of Investing in Your Child's Future and Baby or Bust, and has collaborated with Paul Clitheroe on a variety of projects including radio scripts, newspaper columns, and several books.

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