Insights into hours worked, June 2022

Released
14/07/2022

The ABS will continue to monitor changes in hours worked and provide additional analysis when relevant.

Key findings

Hours worked decreased by 0.4 million hours (0.0%) in seasonally adjusted terms between May and June 2022, while employment increased by 88,400 persons (0.7%). Throughout the pandemic, the hours worked series shows larger short-term changes than in the employed series, given that employees may be away from paid work for a short period without losing their job.  

Chart 1 shows that, despite the volatility in recent years, the ratio of hours to employment is very similar to before the pandemic, with hours having increased 4.9% and employment having increased 4.6% since March 2020.

Source: Labour Force, Australia Tables 1 and 19

People working fewer hours than usual due to their own illness or injury or sick leave

Chart 2 shows the number of people working fewer hours due to illness in June 2022 at its second highest level on record (776,800 people), falling slightly from its record high in May. This reflected ongoing disruption associated with the Omicron variant and elevated cases of influenza.

Source: Labour Force, Australia Data Cube EM2a

Chart 3 shows that the number of employed people working fewer hours due to illness rose to its highest point in the series for those aged 40-54 years. In each of the 25-39 years and 55+ years age groups, illness eased back to its second highest mark from its record level in May.

Source:  Labour Force, Australia Data Cube EM2a

Chart 4 shows the proportion of the employed population who worked fewer hours than usual due to illness in June over recent years. Reduced hours due to illness increased in June 2022 in all states and territories, in some cases to around double the usual level for June.

Source:  Labour Force, Australia Data Cube EM2b and Table 12

People working fewer hours than usual due to bad weather or plant breakdown, Original

Chart 5 shows people working fewer hours due to bad weather or plant breakdown remained slightly elevated in June 2022, mostly due to adverse weather in Victoria.

Source: Labour Force, Australia Data Cube EM2a