More than 3% of jobs vacant in September quarter

Media Release

Around one in every thirty jobs (3.2 per cent) were vacant in the September quarter, a new record high, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Bjorn Jarvis, head of Labour Statistics at the ABS, said “Just as the unemployment rate has been falling during a tight labour market, the proportion of vacant jobs has been increasing. In the September quarter it was 3.2 per cent, almost in line with the unemployment rate (3.5 per cent), having been 1.6 per cent just before the pandemic.”

“These two measures are useful to track together, along with underemployment, to understand both supply and demand in this particularly tight labour market."

Quarterly growth in jobs and hours worked slowed in the September quarter, with filled jobs increasing slightly (up 0.2 per cent) and hours worked remaining flat.

“The rate of multiple job holding increased by less than 0.1 percentage point to 6.5 per cent, another series high. The increase from around 5.9 per cent before the pandemic highlights that people are now more likely to be working more than one job.” Mr Jarvis said.


The proportion of vacant jobs rose in all industries between March 2020 and September 2022. The increase was most pronounced in Accommodation and food services and Arts and recreation services – two industries for which jobs and hours have also been particularly impacted during the pandemic.

“The Accommodation and food services industry saw the largest increase in the share of jobs that were vacant, increasing from 1.2 per cent in March quarter 2020 to 5.1 per cent in the September quarter 2022.” Mr Jarvis said.

Hours worked

While hours worked were largely unchanged across the whole economy, there continued to be variation at the industry level. Hours worked increased during the quarter in 8 of the 19 industries, and fell in the remaining 11 industries.

Wholesale trade (up 10.8 per cent) and Information media and telecommunications (up 9.7 per cent) saw the highest growth in hours worked in the September quarter. Mining (down 5.6 per cent) and Arts and recreation services (down 5.4 per cent) recorded the largest decreases.

Since the Delta period restrictions started to be lifted in December quarter 2021, hours worked increased by 3.9 per cent. The largest increases were in the Accommodation and food services and Arts and recreation services industries (both up 23 per cent). The largest decreases were in Public administration and safety (down 6.5 per cent), Mining (down 6.4 per cent) and Manufacturing (down 5.0 per cent).

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).
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