Job vacancies fall but remain high at end of 2022

Media Release

There were 444,000 job vacancies in November 2022, down 5 per cent (-23,000) from August, according to new seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS, said "the number of job vacancies fell by 5 per cent over the three months to November 2022, and were down by 8 per cent from the peak in May.”

“Despite falling recently, the number of job vacancies in November was 12 per cent higher than November 2021 (398,000) and almost double what they were in February 2020 (228,000), prior to the COVID-19 pandemic."

The percentage of businesses reporting at least one vacancy again increased.

“While the number of vacancies has begun to fall over the past six months, we are continuing to see a greater share of businesses reporting at least one vacancy. It was 28 per cent of businesses in November 2022, a slight increase from August 2022 (27 per cent) and more than double what it was in February 2020 (11 per cent),” Mr Jarvis said.

“These figures continue to show the high demand for workers across many businesses and all industries, in a tight labour market.”

The decline in job vacancies was driven by the private sector, which generally accounts for around nine in every 10 vacancies. Private sector vacancies fell by 6 per cent from August to November 2022 while public sector vacancies increased by 6 per cent.

When compared with the pre-pandemic levels, both private and public sector vacancies were close to double what they were in February 2020 (up by 96 per cent and 89 per cent respectively).

”There had been more rapid growth in private sector vacancies up to May 2022, from which they have fallen over the past six months," Mr Jarvis said.

"Public sector vacancies have increased at a slower but steadier rate over that period."

Across the states and territories, the largest quarterly percentage decline in job vacancies was in New South Wales (down 12 per cent) and Victoria (down 7 per cent). The largest percentage quarterly growth was in Tasmania (up 13 per cent).

While job vacancies fell in 13 of the 18 industries, they remained high across all industries when compared with February 2020.

This was most acute in Arts and recreation services and Accommodation and food services, where vacancies were almost four times what they were before the pandemic. 

“High numbers of job vacancies in all industries continue to reflect ongoing labour shortages in a tight labour market, particularly in customer-facing industries,” Mr Jarvis said.

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-pandemic' 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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