A quarter of businesses unable to find suitable staff

Media Release
Released
24/06/2021

More than a quarter (27 per cent) of Australian businesses are having difficulty finding suitable staff, according to survey results released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Head of Industry Statistics, John Shepherd, said the latest Business Conditions and Sentiments Survey, conducted from 9 to 16 June, showed there were several reasons why employers were struggling to find suitable staff to fill jobs. 

“The most frequently reported reason was a lack of applicants (74 per cent), followed by applicants not having the required skills (66 per cent), international border closures (32 per cent) and job location (29 per cent).”

    Factors impacting ability to find suitable staff (a)(b)

    Factors impacting ability to find suitable staff

    Factors impacting ability to find suitable staff (a)(b)

    Factors impacting ability to find suitable staff are grouped by type of factor.
    Labour supply factors:
    - Lack of job applicants (74%)
    - Applicants don’t have the required skills or qualifications (66%)
    External factors:
    - International border closures (32%)
    - Uncertain economic conditions (22%)
    Job factors:
    - Job location (29%)
    - Type of employment offered (23%)
    - Pay conditions (18%)
    - Working days or hours (13%)
    - Other employment conditions (11%)

    "Businesses reported having difficulty finding suitable hospitality workers, sales staff, engineering and science professionals and drivers. Other in demand jobs included building trades and business professionals,” Mr Shepherd said.

    “The survey also found that 19 per cent of businesses reported that, based on current operations, they didn’t have sufficient employees.

    “Notable factors influencing staff numbers for these businesses were the inability to find suitable staff (57 per cent) and the affordability of additional staff (48 per cent).”

    Looking forward, 23 per cent of businesses expected to increase staff numbers over the next three months. For those anticipating an increase in staff, 61 per cent expected the additional jobs to be permanent.

    Further information is available in Business Conditions and Sentiments (Cat. No. 5676.0.55.003).

    The ABS thanks all those who contributed data to this release.

    Media notes

    • This is the final Business Conditions and Sentiments release. For further information see Changes to ABS statistical work program
    • This publication was previously named Business Indicators, Business Impacts of COVID-19.
    • The additional ABS products published to understand the economic impact of COVID-19 can be found on a dedicated page on the ABS website.
    • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
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