Job vacancies recover following largest fall on record

Media Release

The number of job vacancies in Australia increased by 59 per cent over the August 2020 quarter, according to new seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Bjorn Jarvis, head of Labour Statistics at the ABS, said: "Job vacancies rose sharply in the August 2020 quarter, following the largest fall on record in the May 2020 quarter, when vacancies decreased by 43 per cent."

"By August, vacancies were around 9 per cent below February, highlighting the extent of recovery from the fall in May," Mr Jarvis said.  

Job vacancies in the private sector increased by 65 per cent over the quarter, and by 22 per cent in the public sector. Private sector vacancies were around 9 per cent below February, and public sector vacancies were around 13 per cent below. 

In original series terms, increases in vacancies were seen in all states and territories following the large decreases last quarter.

"When compared with February 2020, the largest percentage increases were in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

"Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory recovered less than the other states and territories, remaining 23 percent, 22 percent and 15 percent below February," Mr Jarvis said. 

The three industries with the largest percentage increases in job vacancies in the August 2020 quarter were the three that saw the largest falls in May: Arts and recreation services; Rental, hiring and real estate services; and Accommodation and food services.

Despite the recovery in the Arts and recreation services industry, its vacancies remained around 40 percent below February, following almost no vacancies in May. 

The ABS would like to thank businesses in Australia for their continued support in responding to our surveys during this difficult time. 

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