Payroll jobs recovery slows in early November

Media Release
Released
9/12/2021

Payroll jobs rose by 0.2 per cent in the fortnight to 13 November 2021, following a rise of 1.5 per cent in the previous fortnight, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Bjorn Jarvis, head of Labour Statistics at the ABS, said: “Payroll jobs recovery slowed in early November, following the fast recovery we saw in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory in the second half of October.”

Payroll jobs in Victoria rose by 0.8 per cent in the first half of November and by 0.3 per cent in the Australian Capital Territory. This followed stronger payroll jobs growth in the previous fortnight (up 2.9 per cent and up 4.3 per cent), in the initial weeks after the lockdowns ended.

In New South Wales, where the lockdown and other restrictions had eased earlier, payroll jobs recovery flattened in the first half of November (down 0.1 per cent), after larger increases during October.

Nationally, payroll job increases were strongest in the Arts and recreation services industry (up 6.4 per cent) and in Accommodation and food services (up 1.9 per cent). This recovery was underpinned by strong increases in these industries in Victoria (15.3 per cent and 6.5 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (11.3 per cent and 9.1 per cent). Increases in Victoria accounted for 78.2 per cent and 64.9 per cent of the national increases over the fortnight.

“These two industries have seen the largest falls in payroll jobs over the course of the pandemic, particularly during extended lockdowns. By mid-November, payroll jobs in these industries were yet to recover to their mid-May levels in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory,” Mr Jarvis said.

a. The week in which payroll jobs were at their lowest between mid-May and mid-November is different for NSW, Victoria and the ACT.

Over the last month, payroll jobs held by women saw stronger recovery (up 2.2 per cent) than those held by men (up 0.6 per cent), a pattern seen across New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

“In all three jurisdictions coming out of the Delta lockdowns we saw the recovery of payroll jobs held by women outpace that of men, between mid-October and mid-November,” Mr Jarvis said.

a. The week in which payroll jobs were at their lowest between mid-May and mid-November is different for payroll jobs held by men and women in NSW, Victoria and the ACT.

Payroll jobs only include jobs where a person was paid through the payroll in a pay period. Payroll job falls can include employees who remained attached to their job but were temporarily stood down and not paid by their employer.

The ABS acknowledges the continued support from the Australian Taxation Office in enabling the ABS to produce weekly insights into the Australian labour market.

Media notes

  • Payroll jobs are not seasonally adjusted, which generally requires at least three years of data. The seasonal changes accounted for in the longstanding Labour Force statistics series should be considered when interpreting impacts and recovery in employment statistics through the COVID-19 period.

  • 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. For more information, see the Scope and coverage section of the Methodology of this release.

  • In each release, as more complete data are received, payroll jobs and wages estimates are revised. Releases with reference weeks which coincide with the start of month involve higher rates of imputation for payroll jobs with monthly pay frequencies. This can contribute to greater revisions in subsequent releases. Industries with higher proportions of monthly pay frequencies, such as Mining, are particularly affected.

  • While the ABS accounts for employees being paid with different frequencies, additional reporting activity may flow through to published estimates at some points of the year (such as the end of the financial year).

  • 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).

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