Payroll jobs rose 0.2% in the month to mid-May

Media Release

Payroll jobs rose 0.2 per cent in the month to 14 May 2022, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Bjorn Jarvis, head of Labour Statistics at the ABS, said “Payroll jobs continued to fall through April, during the Easter weekend and Autumn school holidays, and began to lift over the first half of May. 

“The growth in payroll jobs during the first half of 2022 continues to be slower than the first half of 2021, when the labour market was recovering from the shocks that occurred in the first year of the pandemic. The 2022 estimates continue to reflect tightening labour market conditions, together with ongoing disruption from Omicron-related employee absences.”

a. Week 0 is 14 March 2020, 13 March 2021 and 12 March 2022. Easter fell on week 4 in 2020, week 3 in 2021 and week 5 in 2022

Payroll jobs can show larger short-term changes than Labour Force statistics on employment, given that employees without paid leave entitlements may be away from work for a short period without losing their job, particularly during holiday periods or when sick. Information on employed people working reduced or no hours in May will be available in next week’s Labour Force release.

State and territory

Since the seasonal low around Easter, payroll jobs grew in almost every state and territory over the month to mid-May 2022. The Northern Territory saw the largest rise over the month (up 1.0 per cent) which was similar to the change seen in the month to mid-May 2021.

Tasmania was the only jurisdiction where payroll jobs fell over the month to mid-May, down 0.8 per cent, reflecting the later timing of their school holidays (between 15 April and 1 May 2022).

Payroll jobs were above pre-pandemic levels in all states and territories. This growth was largest in the Northern Territory (8.2 per cent) and Western Australia (8.0 per cent), and smallest in New South Wales (3.7 per cent) and Victoria (5.4 per cent).


Payroll jobs increased over the month in 6 of the 19 industries, with the largest seen in Education and training (up 4.4 per cent), as schooling resumed in most states and territories in late April.

The Accommodation and food services industry recorded the second largest rise in payroll jobs (up 2.1 per cent) over the month. While payroll jobs in this industry followed a similar pattern to 2021, during the weeks around the seasonal low at Easter, payroll jobs had fallen further between mid-March and mid-May 2022 than in 2021.

a. Week 0 is 14 March 2020, 13 March 2021 and 12 March 2022. Easter fell on week 4 in 2020, week 3 in 2021 and week 5 in 2022

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

Media notes

  • Payroll jobs are not seasonally adjusted, which generally requires at least three years of 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 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 who are not included in payroll reporting. 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. 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. 

  • 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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