Labour demand pressures ease in December quarter

Media Release

The proportion of jobs in Australia that were vacant fell from 3.2 per cent to 2.8 per cent in the December quarter 2022, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Bjorn Jarvis, ABS head of labour statistics, said: “A fall in the proportion of vacant jobs in the December quarter points to a slight easing in labour market pressures, from the peak in the September quarter.”

“While the proportion of vacant jobs was lower in December, this came off a record high in the previous quarter, following a year of increases.”

“The proportion of vacant jobs remained well above the pre-pandemic level of 1.6 per cent.”

The fall in the proportion of vacant jobs largely reflected a decrease in job vacancies, rather than the increase in total jobs in the labour market. Vacancies fell by 11.2 per cent, also coming off recent historical highs. Despite this decline, job vacancies remained much higher than before the pandemic (94 per cent higher than March quarter 2020).

While labour demand fell, filled jobs and hours worked both rose (by 0.8 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively). This larger increase in hours worked partly reflected fewer hours of work being lost due to illness and poor weather in the December quarter, compared with the September quarter.

Multiple job-holding

Multiple job-holding has become more common over the past few years, with 925,000 people having more than one job at the same time in the December quarter. The rate of multiple job holding increased to 6.6 per cent, the highest in the Labour Account series (which goes back to 1994). The number of secondary jobs also reached a series high, increasing by 1.7 per cent to 1.0 million.

“Almost one in every fifteen employed people now hold more than one job, with some of these people working more than two jobs at the same time,” Mr Jarvis said.

While multiple job-holding has been increasing since the initial decline early in the pandemic, the proportion of full-time and part-time employed people who would prefer, and are available for, more hours has decreased at a faster rate over the same period.

“This shows that, while some people have picked up additional hours through taking on a second job, there are also a considerable number of people who have picked up extra hours in either their existing job or through changing jobs,” Mr Jarvis said.

* Includes all full-time and part-time workers indicating they would prefer, and are available, to work more hours.


Labour demand eased in 13 out of 19 industries in the December quarter. The proportion of vacant jobs, however, remained elevated in all industries compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Despite falls in the December quarter, the proportion of vacant jobs in Accommodation and food services and Public administration and safety remain well above their March quarter 2020 levels (2.7 percentage points and 2.0 percentage points respectively).

“While the two key labour demand measures – the proportion of vacant jobs and the number of job vacancies – both suggest labour market pressures eased in the last quarter, demand for workers across all industries continues to remain at historically high levels,” Mr Jarvis said.

Hours worked increased in 14 out of 19 industries. The largest percentage increase was in Mining (up 8.4 per cent) and the largest percentage fall was in Education and training (down 5.8 per cent).

The ABS would like to thank Australians for their continued support in responding to all of the surveys that contribute data used to compile the Labour Account.

Media notes

  • The Australian Labour Account complements other ABS measures to build a more comprehensive picture of the labour market. Labour Account provides the number of filled jobs at a point-in-time each quarter, while the annual Jobs in Australia provides insights into all jobs held throughout the year, and Labour Force Survey measures the number of people employed each month.

  • To learn more about our different labour measures, their purpose and how to use them, see our new Guide to labour statistics. It provides summary information on labour market topics including Industry employment data.

  • Data contained in this media release refer to seasonally adjusted estimates, unless otherwise stated.

  • 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).

  • A glossary of terms used in this media release is available with the publication.

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