Insights into hours worked, March 2022

Released
14/04/2022

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

Hours worked decreased by 0.6% (in seasonally adjusted terms) between February and March 2022, while employment increased by 0.1%. 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 after the fall in March 2022, hours worked remained 1.0% below the level reached in December 2021 and 0.8% below the pre-Delta COVID variant high of May 2021.

Source: Labour Force, Australia Tables 1 and 19

People working fewer hours due to bad weather or plant breakdown

Chart 2 shows a large increase in people working fewer hours due to bad weather or plant breakdown in March 2022 as floods affected New South Wales and Queensland.

Source: Labour Force, Australia Data Cube EM2a

People working fewer hours due to their own illness, personal injury or sick leave

Chart 3 shows an elevated number of people working fewer hours due to the continuing disruption from the omicron variant.

Source: Labour Force, Australia Data Cube EM2a

People working fewer hours due to economic and other reasons

Chart 4 shows the number of people working fewer hours for economic and other reasons is now below pre-pandemic levels. 

Source: Labour Force, Australia Data Cube EM2a