Understanding differences between Labour Force employment statistics and Weekly Payroll Jobs


The ABS has recently released experimental estimates of changes in paid employee jobs and changes in wages in Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia. The estimates are compiled in near real time and published fortnightly, using Single Touch Payroll (STP) data provided to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) by businesses with STP-enabled payroll or accounting software each time the business runs its payroll.

This information provides complementary insights to the Labour Force statistics on employment. While changes in paid employee jobs can provide an indication of changes in how employed the population is, it is important to remember that the measures are different.

The table below highlights key differences that should be considered when comparing changes in paid employee jobs with changes in employment.

Table 1: Weekly payroll jobs and wages in Australia and Labour Force statistics
Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in AustraliaLabour Force statistics
Focus of the statisticsPaid employee jobs.People.
Types of employmentEmployee jobs for which a payment was reported to the ATO through STP.All employed people, including:Employees (including Owner managers of incorporated enterprises);Owner managers of unincorporated enterprisesContributing family workers.Non-employees (OMUEs and CFWs) account for around 9% of employed people.
Whether paidOnly includes employee jobs where the employee was paid.Includes all employed people who were paid or who had a job but weren’t paid (on unpaid leave, temporarily stood down without pay, etc).
Multiple job holdingEach job is counted separately, irrespective of whether it is worked by a multiple job holder.Around 6% of employed people are multiple job holders, particularly young people.


For further information, please email labour.statistics@abs.gov.au.

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