ATO-ABS partnership delivers COVID-19 jobs statistics

Media Statement

Tomorrow, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will release new weekly statistics providing up-to-date information on the impact of COVID-19 on jobs and wages.

The new Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia estimates are derived from data reported by businesses through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Single Touch Payroll (STP) system, providing even more timely and frequent information.

The estimates provide the weekly change in the number of jobs, change in wages and change in average weekly wage by job and how that has evolved since Australia registered 100 confirmed cases of coronavirus on 10th March, 2020.

The data are available at the national, state and territory and industry level by selected personal attributes, including sex and age groups.

Australian Statistician Dr David Gruen said the partnership between the ABS and ATO was critical to providing these timely insights into the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across Australia, and complement the ABS’ regular labour market statistics.

“The invaluable support of the ATO in providing us with these data has enabled the ABS to produce detailed insights into how COVID-19 has affected jobs and wages across the country,” Dr Gruen said. “It is an important part of the statistical information we are producing to measure the impact of COVID-19 on Australians.”

The ATO said it was pleased to see that the data generated by the relatively new STP regime could be used to shed light on the impacts of the pandemic. It demonstrates the way in which administrative data can provide a better understanding of what is happening in the community at a particular time.

Media note:

  • Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia, Week ending 4 April 2020 (cat. no. 6160.0.55.001) will be available on the ABS website at 11:30am AEST Tuesday 21 April 2020.
  • All data reported by businesses through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Single Touch Payroll (STP) system are included in these estimates.
  • Approximately 99% of substantial employers (those with 20 or more employees) and 71% of small employers (19 or less employees) are currently reporting through STP.
  • The Single Touch Payroll system sends taxation and superannuation information from a business’ STP-enabled payroll or accounting software to the ATO as a business runs its payroll.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team on 1300 175 070 (8:30am - 5:00pm Mon-Fri)
  • The additional ABS products being published to understand the economic impact of the coronavirus can be found on a dedicated page.
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