Job vacancies decline in August

Media Release

There were 471,000 job vacancies in August 2022, a decrease of 10,000 from May 2022, according to new seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Lauren Ford, head of Labour Statistics at the ABS, said: “The number of job vacancies declined by 2 per cent over the three months to August 2022, although remained elevated in historical terms and are still more than double pre-pandemic levels.”

The number of job vacancies in August 2022 was 41 per cent higher than August last year (334,000), when the labour market was impacted by the Delta wave lockdowns. The August 2022 job vacancies were also more than double what they were in February 2020 (227,000), prior to the pandemic.

“The large growth in vacancies through the pandemic has coincided with a decline in the number of unemployed people. As a result, there were a similar number of unemployed people (488,000) to job vacancies (471,000) in August 2022, compared with three times as many unemployed people to vacancies before the start of the pandemic,” Ms Ford said.

“Despite the overall quarterly decrease, the number of job vacancies continued to increase in some industries, such as Retail trade (up 15 per cent) and Accommodation and food services (up 14 per cent). This reflected ongoing labour shortages in a tight labour market, particularly in customer facing industries,” Ms Ford said.

Across the states and territories, the largest quarterly percentage decline in job vacancies was in Tasmania (down 17 per cent) and Western Australia (down 7 per cent). The largest percentage growth was in Queensland (up 9 per cent), followed by Victoria (up 5 per cent).

The industries with the largest percentage decrease in vacancies over the quarter were Construction (16 per cent) and Education and training (12 per cent). The industries with the highest percentage growth were Transport, postal and warehousing (17 per cent) and Retail trade (15 per cent).

The decline in job vacancies was driven by the private sector, which decreased by 3 per cent over the three months to August 2022. At the same time, public sector vacancies increased by 11 per cent. However, vacancies in both the private and public sectors increased over the year (40 per cent and 45 per cent).

The ABS would like to thank businesses in Australia for their continued support in responding to our surveys during these challenging times.

Media notes

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For the purposes of this publication, 'pre-COVID' refers to the February 2020 Job Vacancies, which was before the main impact of restrictions on businesses.
  • Job vacancies in this media release refer to seasonally adjusted data for Australia and sector level. All other estimates are original series.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
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