Payroll jobs fell 0.2 per cent to mid-July

Media Release

Payroll jobs fell 0.2 per cent in the month to 15 July 2023, following a 0.3 per cent rise in the previous month, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Bjorn Jarvis, ABS head of labour statistics, said: “The latest month of data showed some slowing in jobs growth around the school holidays, together with the end of financial year seasonality we usually see in payroll reporting.”

Around the end of each financial year, there is usually a higher level of reporting variability as employers finalise their employees’ earnings and the payroll reporting financial year is reset. Until business reporting is complete, the interpretation of change in payroll jobs across this period can be more challenging than usual.

“Around June and July, estimates of payroll jobs can see slightly higher levels of revision than at other times of the year. This lasts until business reporting for the previous financial year is complete.

“Looking at how the labour market has fared over the most recent year of data, up to mid-July 2023, payroll jobs had grown by 3.7 per cent. This was slightly less than the annual growth we published this time last year, in the 12 months to mid-July 2022, of 4.5 per cent.

“This suggests that the labour market may be starting to slow, compared to the relatively stronger growth we saw during 2022,” Mr Jarvis said.

Indexed to the week ending 14 March 2020 (week 10 in 2020). Week 0 represents the weeks ending 4 January 2020, 2 January 2021, 1 January 2022 and 31 December 2022. Week 28 represents the weeks ending 18 July 2020, 17 July 2021, 16 July 2022 and 15 July 2023.

Payroll jobs fall in 5 of 8 states and territories

In the month to mid-July 2023, payroll jobs fell in 5 of 8 states and territories. The falls ranged from 0.6 per cent in Tasmania to 0.1 per cent in the Northern Territory. The Australian Capital Territory saw the largest rise over the month, of 0.5 per cent.

These variations between the state and territories can be partly explained by the different timing of their Winter term breaks and are particularly evident in the Education and training industry.

Comparisons of annual change at mid-July are useful given that the timing of the 2023 Winter term break was similar to 2022 in all state and territories.

Annual growth in payroll jobs ranged from 6.3 per cent in the Northern Territory to 3.2 per cent in New South Wales.

Media notes

  • Payroll jobs are not seasonally adjusted, which generally requires at least three years of reasonably stable data. The longstanding seasonally adjusted Labour Force statistics series can aid in the interpretation of labour statistics across periods of greater seasonality, through the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Payroll jobs are predominantly employee jobs paid through payrolls. Some industries, such as Agriculture, forestry and fishing and Construction, have high proportions of owner managers who are not included in payroll reporting. For more information, see the Scope and coverage section in the Methodology of this release.
  • In each release, as more complete data are received, payroll job estimates are revised. The magnitude of revisions can vary at some points of the year, such as the end of the financial year and calendar year in line with changes in the reporting activity of businesses. 
  • The ABS acknowledges the continued support of the ATO in enabling the ABS to produce weekly insights into the Australian labour market from Single Touch Payroll data.
  • 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).
  • Subscribe to our media release notification service to get notified of ABS media releases or publications upon their release.
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