Payroll jobs rise 0.5% to mid-May

Media Release

Payroll jobs rose 0.5 per cent in the month to 13 May 2023, following a similar pattern to the same time last year, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Bjorn Jarvis, ABS head of labour statistics, said: “In the month to mid-May 2023, we again saw a rise in payroll jobs after a fall around the Easter and Autumn school holiday period.”

“This was similar to the pattern last year, which suggests that jobs and employment in the labour market were broadly tracking what we saw coming out of Easter last year when statistics were released in June 2022. It was slightly weaker than last year, at which time there was still some recovery from the COVID-19 Omicron-related impacts in early 2022.”

Week 0 represents the weeks ending 12 March 2022 and 11 March 2023. Week 9 represents the weeks ending 14 May 2022 and 13 May 2023. Easter fell on week 6 in 2022 and week 5 in 2023. 

Seasonal rise in jobs in the Education and training industry

In the month to mid-May 2023, 10 out of 19 industries saw payroll job increases, with the largest in Education and training (3.9 per cent) as students returned to studies across the country.

The Education and training industry accounted for close to half (around 47 per cent) of the total rise in payroll jobs in this period.

In contrast, payroll jobs in the Professional, scientific and technical services industry fell by 1.0 per cent in the month to mid-May, accounting for close to a third (around 31 per cent) of the total fall.

The selected industries hold the largest share of payroll jobs, of around 55% of total jobs. 
Payroll job rises in the Accommodation and food services industry in 2022 reflect pandemic related recovery. 

Payroll job rise in all states and territories

Payroll jobs increased in all states and territories in the month to mid-May 2023. The largest rises were in Queensland and the Northern Territory (both 0.9 per cent), which both saw students return to studies a week earlier than other parts of the country.

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 jobs and wages 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.
  • To learn more about our different labour measures, their purpose and how to use them, see our new Guide to labour statistics. It provides summary information on labour market topics including Industry employment and Earnings 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).
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