Payroll jobs remain above pre-pandemic levels

Media Release

Payroll jobs fell by 0.5 per cent in the fortnight to 8 May 2021, following a 0.2 per cent rise in the previous fortnight, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

Bjorn Jarvis, head of Labour Statistics at the ABS, said: “In early May, payroll jobs were 1.5 per cent above pre-pandemic levels and 1.5 per cent lower than the end of March 2021.

The end of JobKeeper, seasonality in the labour market around Easter and short-term restrictions in some states may influence payroll job levels in the weeks between the end of March and 8 May 2021.”

Across the states and territories, payroll jobs also remain above pre-pandemic levels, ranging from 4.4 per cent above in the Northern Territory to 0.7 per cent above in Queensland.

Changes in payroll jobs continued to vary by industry.

Mr Jarvis said, “Since the end of March 2021, there were increases in payroll jobs for two of the five largest employing industries; Education and training and Retail trade (up 0.9 per cent and 0.4 per cent).

“There were decreases across the three other large employing industries; Accommodation and food services, Professional, scientific and technical services and Health care and social services (down 3.8 per cent, 2.8 per cent and 2.0 per cent).”

Industries ranked by descending proportion of total payroll jobs. These industries represented 48 per cent of total payroll jobs on 14 March 2020.

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

Media notes

  • Payroll jobs are not seasonally adjusted, which generally require at least three years of data. The seasonal changes accounted for in the longstanding Labour Force statistics series should be considered when interpreting recovery in employment statistics through the COVID period.
  • In each release, as more complete data are received, payroll jobs and wages estimates are revised.
  • While the ABS accounts for employees being paid with different frequencies, there are points in the year when additional reporting activity is more likely to occur, which may flow through to published estimates.
  • Estimates of payroll jobs by industry subdivision through to the week ending 8 May 2021, will be added to this release on Wednesday 26 May 2021. 
  • 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 AEST).
  • Subscribe to our media release notification service to get notified of ABS media releases or publications upon their release.
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