One in five businesses face skills shortages

Media Release
Released
16/12/2020

One in five (21 per cent) businesses reported that they were having difficulty finding suitably skilled or qualified staff, according to results released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

ABS Head of Industry Statistics, John Shepherd, said the latest Business Impacts of COVID-19 Survey showed businesses are facing skills shortages and also revealed they have plans to hire staff.

"Businesses reported having difficulty finding suitably skilled tradespersons, hospitality workers and STEM professionals,” Mr Shepherd said. “Other in demand jobs included labourers, drivers and managers.”

 “Almost one in six (15 per cent) employing businesses reported that, based on current operations, they did not have a sufficient number of employees.”

The latest release also includes information about future workforce actions businesses plan to take.

“Two thirds (65 per cent) of medium and large businesses plan to employ new staff over the next three months and around half of medium (49 per cent) and large (52 per cent) businesses expect to re-train or upskill existing staff to fill skills gaps,” Mr Shepherd said.

Word cloud - reported jobs with skills shortages

Reported jobs with skills shortages include: tradespeople, hospitality workers, STEM professionals, drivers and others.

This survey is part of a series of additional products the ABS is releasing to measure the economic impact of COVID-19. Data was collected between 2 December and 9 December. Further information is available in Business Indicators, Business Impacts of COVID-19 (Cat. No. 5676.0.55.003).

The ABS thanks all those who contributed data to this release.

Media Notes

  • The additional ABS products published to understand the economic impact of COVID-19 can be found on a dedicated page on the ABS website.
  • A small business is one with 0-19 employees; a medium business has 20-199 employees; and a large business has 200 or more employees.
  • 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 media@abs.gov.au (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
  • Subscribe to our media release notification service to get notified of ABS media releases or publications upon their release.