Detailed labour market data on pandemic impacts

Media Release

Detailed labour market data on pandemic impacts

Jobs in 2019-20

The total number of jobs held in 2019-20 fell by 0.7 per cent compared to the previous financial year, according to Jobs in Australia data, based on annual personal income tax data, released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Bjorn Jarvis, Head of Labour Statistics at the ABS, said "There were just under 20 million jobs held by people across the 2019-20 financial year, the last quarter of which included the start of the pandemic. As in other labour statistics, these data showed that jobs held by women dropped at a faster rate than men (-0.8 per cent compared to -0.7 per cent)."

"While jobs held by women dropped at a faster rate between 2018-19 and 2019-20, over the previous five years jobs held by women increased at a much higher rate than men (9.3 per cent compared to 6.9 per cent)."

“The impact of the pandemic on younger workers was also seen in these data, with jobs held by people aged 29 years or younger showing the largest fall. Jobs loss was most pronounced for 21-24 year olds (a total of 79,000 jobs or around 39 per cent of all jobs lost by people 29 years or younger).”

This release includes detailed annual regional and industry information, at a much more specific level than is possible from other labour statistics. For instance, it contains annual labour market information for the more than 2,000 regions across Australia (Statistical Area Level 2) and more than 500 Local Government Areas.

The more detailed industry data provides insights into the industries most affected by COVID.

“The data, which will soon be available in TableBuilder, will be incredibly important for giving us a deeper understanding of the labour market impacts during the pandemic,” Mr Jarvis said.

“While previous data has shown how impacted the Accommodation and food services and Arts and recreation services industries were, and some of the larger parts of these industries, these data provide much deeper insights. For example, providing new insights into the experiences of the six groups of more detailed industries within the Accommodation and food services industry, and seventeen within the Arts and recreation services industry,” Mr Jarvis said.

Personal Income in 2019-20

In addition to labour market insights, the latest data also provides information on personal income.

In 2019-20, median personal income was $52,338, an increase of almost 2 per cent from 2018-19. The Australian Capital Territory had the highest median personal income ($68,325) while Tasmania had the lowest ($47,909).

“The Local Government Area of Ashburton in Western Australia had the highest median total income in Australia ($99,367), followed closely by Roxby Downs in South Australia ($98,955)," Mr Jarvis said. 

New Experimental Quarterly Data

This release includes an article containing experimental analysis of quarterly data. This provides additional information on the COVID-19 impacts on jobs and income during the June quarter of 2020. 

This analysis showed that the total number of jobs worked over the quarter fell by 285,000. The most affected occupation group, in terms of total job losses over the June quarter of 2020, was General Sales Assistants.

"Over 16,500 sales assistant jobs were lost in the June quarter of 2020 as the initial set of national lockdowns and restrictions impacted employment," Mr Jarvis said.

Media notes

  • Information on both jobs and income was released today in Jobs in Australia and Personal Income in Australia. These data are sourced from the Linked Employer-Employee Dataset (LEED) which combines Income Tax Returns and Payment Summaries data from the Australian Taxation Office with ABS business data to give us unique and detailed insights into the labour market.
  • To learn more about our different labour measures, their purpose and how to use them, see our Guide to labour statistics. It provides summary information on labour market topics including Industry employment and Earnings (similar to income) data.
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
  • Subscribe to our media release notification service to get notified of ABS media releases or publications upon their release.
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