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1360.0 - Measuring Australia's Economy, 2003  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/02/2003   
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The number of job vacancies has increased considerably over the last ten years, particularly in the private sector. In May 2002 there were 74,900 private sector vacancies and 15,400 public sector vacancies, up from the 23,400 private sector vacancies and 8,400 public sector vacancies recorded in May 1992.

The job vacancy rate for Australia was 1.15% in May 2002. It has fluctuated over the past ten years, and has increased from a low level of 0.47% in May 1992, during the economic downturn, to a recent high level of 1.62% in August 2000.





JOB VACANCIES
Period
Private Sector

’000
Public Sector

'000
All Sectors

’000
Job vacancy rate

%

ANNUAL AVERAGE
1996–97
72.1
9.0
81.1
1.12
1997–98
83.9
10.2
94.1
1.23
1998–99
82.8
11.8
94.6
1.20
1999–2000
95.7
16.7
112.4
1.45
2000–01
91.1
15.0
106.2
1.39
2001–02
75.9
15.6
91.5
1.18

QUARTERLY
2000-01
February
85.8
14.2
100.0
1.32
May
72.8
14.5
87.4
1.12
2001-02
August
81.2
15.8
96.9
1.26
November
72.4
15.0
87.4
1.14
February
75.1
16.1
91.3
1.17
May
74.9
15.4
90.3
1.15

Source: Job Vacancies, Australia (6354.0).



Explanatory Notes

A job vacancy is a job available for immediate filling and for which recruitment action has taken place. Recruitment action includes efforts to fill vacancies by advertising, factory notices, notifying public or private employment agencies, notifying trade unions and by contacting, interviewing or selecting applicants already registered with the enterprise or organisation. Jobs available only to persons employed by the enterprise or organisation are excluded.

Job vacancies provide a measure of the demand for labour. When the demand for labour is low, the number of job vacancies decreases. If the demand for labour is high, the number of job vacancies increases. The demand for labour is an indicator of changes in the level of economic activity. Recessions are characterised by a low level of job vacancies, while periods of strong economic growth tend to be characterised by an increase in job vacancies.

The job vacancy rate is calculated by expressing the number of job vacancies as a percentage of occupied jobs plus job vacancies. Government, unions and private bodies monitor job vacancy rates to gain an indication of future levels of employment. A rise in the job vacancy rate is usually followed by an increase in employment.


Further Reading

Job Vacancies, Australia (6354.0)
Contains quarterly estimates of the number of job vacancies by Sector, Industry and State and Territory, and job vacancy rates by State and Territory.

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