Payroll jobs rise 0.3%, with higher growth for men

Media Release

Payroll jobs rose by 0.3 per cent in the fortnight to 22 May 2021, following a 0.1 per cent fall 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: “Fortnightly growth in payroll jobs held by men had generally been below that of women since the end of January 2021, through to early May. However, payroll jobs growth for men was higher in the most recent fortnight, increasing by 0.4 per cent compared with 0.2 per cent for women.

“Payroll jobs held by women continued to show stronger growth since the start of the pandemic. At 22 May 2021 they were 2.0 per cent above mid-March 2020, compared with 0.4 per cent above for men.

“This stronger recovery for payroll jobs held by women aligns with what we have seen in female employment in Labour Force statistics, with both measures also showing much larger losses for women early in the COVID period.”

Most payroll jobs (86 per cent) are held by 20-59 year olds. Within this group, changes in payroll jobs across the most recent fortnight ranged from an increase of 0.6 per cent for 40-49 year olds to a 0.2 per cent decrease for 20-29 year olds.

At 22 May 2021, payroll jobs continued to be above pre-pandemic levels in all age groups.

Changes in payroll jobs continued to vary across the states and territories, with the latest figures covering the period before the recent lockdown in Victoria.

Mr Jarvis said, “Payroll jobs rose in almost every state and territory in the fortnight to 22 May 2021, with the largest increases seen in Queensland and the Northern Territory (up 0.6 per cent and 0.5 per cent). Payroll jobs in Tasmania fell by 0.3 per cent.”

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.
  • Changes in payroll jobs can differ from changes in employed persons, as measured by Labour Force statistics. Some changes in payroll jobs reflect jobs worked by multiple job holders (which is more common for women than men, younger workers and in some industries) and there are also jobs that are not within the scope of payroll jobs (particularly non-employee jobs). More information on multiple job holders can be found in this Labour Account article.
  • 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.

  • 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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