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Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia

Experimental weekly estimates on the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on payroll jobs and wages, sourced from Single Touch Payroll data

Reference period
Week ending 5 September 2020
Released
22/09/2020
Future releases
  • Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia
    Next Release 7/10/2020
  • Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia
    Next Release 8/10/2020
  • Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia
    Next Release 20/10/2020
  • View all releases

Key statistics

Between the week ending 14 March 2020 (the week Australia recorded its 100th confirmed COVID-19 case) and the week ending 5 September 2020:

  • Payroll jobs decreased by 4.5%
  • Total wages decreased by 4.3%

The next issue of Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia will be released on Wednesday 7 October.

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  1. Care should be exercised when focusing on the most recent movements in payroll jobs and wages. For more information, please see Data limitations and revisions. Weekly change data are available in the Data downloads.

High level analysis suggests that there were approximately 480,000 fewer payroll jobs in STP-enabled businesses on 5 September 2020 than on 14 March 2020.

Key COVID-19 dates

  • 22 March : Prime Minister announces Stage 2 lock down changes, which are progressively implemented
  • 30 March : Prime Minister announces JobKeeper program
  • 5 August : Stage 4 restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and stage 3 restrictions in regional Victoria commence

State and territory

Since the week ending 14 March 2020 the largest changes across states and territories were:

  • Payroll jobs : Victoria decreased by 8.3% and the Australian Capital Territory decreased by 4.5%
  • Total wages : Victoria decreased by 5.4% and New South Wales decreased by 4.9%

 

Table 1 - Percentage change by states and territories

 Payroll jobs Total wages 
 Change between 22 August and 5 September (a)Change between 14 March and 5 SeptemberChange between 22 August and 5 September (a)Change between 14 March and 5 September
New South Wales-0.3%-3.7%0.8%-4.9%
Victoria-0.8%-8.3%0.9%-5.4%
Queensland-0.3%-3.1%0.9%-2.7%
South Australia0.2%-2.7%2.3%-1.0%
Western Australia0.1%-0.9%1.1%-4.3%
Tasmania0.2%-4.3%0.3%-4.5%
Northern Territory-0.8%-2.0%-0.7%-1.0%
Australian Capital Territory-0.9%-4.5%0.0%-2.8%
Australia-0.4%-4.5%0.9%-4.3%
a. Care should be exercised when focusing on the most recent movements in payroll jobs and wages. For more information, please see Data limitations and revisions. Weekly change data are available in Data downloads.  
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a. Care should be exercised when focusing on the most recent movements in payroll jobs. For more information, please see Data limitations and revisions

Sub-state - payroll jobs

SA3 estimates are available for the first time with this release. All sub-state estimates are available as a time series, presented as index values through to the week ending 5 September 2020. These estimates can be accessed in Table 5 of the Data downloads.

SA4 regions are specifically designed to reflect labour markets within each state and territory within population limits. In regional areas, SA4s tend to have lower populations (100,000 to 300,000), while in metropolitan areas, SA4s tend to have larger populations (300,000 to 500,000).

SA3 regions generally have populations between 30,000 and 130,000 persons. They are often the functional areas of regional towns and cities with a population in excess of 20,000, or clusters of related suburbs around urban commercial and transport hubs within the major urban areas.

For more information see Statistical GeographyAustralian Statistical Geography Standard, Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2016; or Australian Statistical Geography Standard, Volume 3 - Non-ABS Structures, July 2018.

Interactive map

An interactive map of payroll jobs by SA4 is found in this link.

How to use:

  • Search: the magnifying glass icon opens the search function. It is set to look for locations such as addresses, suburbs and postcodes contained within an SA4.
  • Reference week: the date slider can be used to select a particular week of interest, or see changes over time.
  • Data: on the map, an SA4 can be selected to view the underlying data. Time series estimates for SA4s can be found in Table 5 of the Data downloads.
  • If the maps do not load successfully, please try refreshing the page.

SA4 boundaries presented in the interactive map accord with those presented in the Australian Statistical Geography Standard, Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2016.

Sex and age group

Sex

Since the week ending 14 March 2020 the changes were:

●   Payroll jobs : Those worked by males decreased by 5.0% and those worked by females decreased by 4.3%
●   Total wages : Payments to males decreased by 6.7% and payments to females decreased by 0.9%
 

Table 2 - Percentage change by sex

 Payroll jobs Total wages 
 Change between 22 August and 5 SeptemberChange between 14 March and 5 SeptemberChange between 22 August and 5 SeptemberChange between 14 March and 5 September
Males-0.5%-5.0%0.7%-6.7%
Females-0.2%-4.3%1.2%-0.9%
All persons-0.4%-4.5%0.9%-4.3%
a. Care should be exercised when focusing on the most recent movements in payroll jobs and wages. For more information, please see Data limitations and revisions. Weekly change data are available in Data downloads.
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  1. Care should be exercised when focusing on the most recent movements in payroll jobs. For more information, please see Data limitations and revisions. Weekly change data are available in the Data downloads section.

Age group

Since the week ending 14 March 2020 the largest changes across age groups were:

●   Payroll jobs : Those worked by people aged 70 and over decreased by 11.1% and those worked by people aged 20-29 decreased by 6.7%
●   Total wages : Payments to people aged under 20 increased by 24.0% and payments to people aged 70 and over decreased by 7.6%
 

Table 3 - Percentage change by age group

 Payroll jobs Total wages 
 Change between 22 August and 5 SeptemberChange between 14 March and 5 SeptemberChange between 22 August and 5 SeptemberChange between 14 March and 5 September
Aged under 201.1%-2.7%1.6%24.0%
20-29 year olds-0.3%-6.7%1.5%0.3%
30-39 year olds-0.4%-3.4%1.4%-3.6%
40-49 year olds-0.3%-2.5%0.9%-5.7%
50-59 year olds-0.2%-2.6%0.7%-6.0%
60-69 year olds-0.2%-5.8%0.3%-7.5%
70 year olds and over-0.6%-11.1%-0.6%-7.6%
All persons-0.4%-4.5%0.9%-4.3%
a. Care should be exercised when focusing on the most recent movements in payroll jobs and wages. For more information, please see Data limitations and revisions. Weekly change data are available in Data downloads.

Industry

Since the week ending 14 March 2020 the largest changes across industry were:

●   Payroll jobs : Accommodation and food services decreased by 21.9% and Arts and recreation services decreased by 14.1%
●   Total wages : Mining decreased by 15.7% and Accommodation and food services decreased by 13.8%
 

Table 4 - Percentage change by industry

 Payroll jobs Total wages 
 Change between 22 August and 5 SeptemberChange between 14 March and 5 SeptemberChange between 22 August and 5 SeptemberChange between 14 March and 5 September
Agriculture, forestry and fishing-1.5%-9.3%0.2%-5.6%
Mining (b)-0.3%-1.4%3.3%-15.7%
Manufacturing-0.2%-3.7%0.8%-8.8%
Electricity, gas, water and waste services1.6%2.7%3.0%2.7%
Construction-1.1%-5.3%0.1%-7.2%
Wholesale trade-0.2%-4.2%3.2%-8.5%
Retail trade0.8%-3.0%5.0%1.5%
Accommodation and food services-0.6%-21.9%-1.1%-13.8%
Transport, postal and warehousing-3.9%-9.0%-2.8%-11.8%
Information media and telecommunications0.2%-8.5%-1.2%-1.8%
Financial and insurance services0.0%1.3%-1.2%-7.1%
Rental, hiring and real estate services-0.1%-6.7%3.2%-3.0%
Professional, scientific and technical services-1.8%-4.4%-0.4%-6.4%
Administrative and support services-0.4%-6.0%1.8%-2.6%
Public administration and safety-0.4%2.4%0.9%0.1%
Education and training1.4%-2.7%1.6%0.7%
Health care and social assistance-0.1%1.2%0.4%2.9%
Arts and recreation services-0.4%-14.1%1.0%-6.6%
Other services-0.8%-5.9%1.0%1.2%
All industries-0.4%-4.5%0.9%-4.3%
a. Care should be exercised when focusing on the most recent movements in payroll jobs and wages. Weekly change data are available in Data downloads. 
b. The Mining industry wages estimates in March may include annual bonuses. Please refer to the seasonality section in Data limitations and revisions for further information.  
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Industry sub-division - Payroll jobs

Payroll jobs by Industry sub-division estimates will be next updated through to the week ending 19 September 2020 as part of the release on Thursday 8 October 2020. Time series estimates (presented as index values) up to the week ending 22 August 2020 (as updated on 9 September 2020) are available in Table 6 of Data downloads.

The sub-division level is the second broadest grouping of industries within the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification. Industry sub-divisions are built up from the industry groups which, in turn, are built up from industry classes.

For more, information see the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification.

Employment size

The following experimental estimates present payroll jobs by employment size between the week ending 14 March 2020 and the week ending 5 September 2020. 

Table 5 - Percentage change in Payroll jobs by state and territory, by employment size as at 14 March 2020 (a)

  Change between 22 August and 5 September (b)Change between 14 March and 5 September
Under 20 employees-1.9%-6.9%
 New South Wales-2.2%-7.2%
 Victoria-2.7%-11.9%
 Queensland-1.1%-3.2%
 South Australia-0.9%-2.7%
 Western Australia-1.5%-2.7%
 Tasmania-0.6%-6.2%
 Northern Territory-1.7%-2.4%
 Australian Capital Territory-3.1%-6.3%
20-199 employees-0.6%-7.3%
 New South Wales-0.4%-6.0%
 Victoria-1.3%-13.0%
 Queensland-0.2%-4.7%
 South Australia0.6%-4.3%
 Western Australia-0.5%-2.9%
 Tasmania-0.4%-7.3%
 Northern Territory-1.5%-4.3%
 Australian Capital Territory-1.8%-7.9%
200 employees and over0.5%-1.9%
 New South Wales0.7%-0.9%
 Victoria0.5%-4.1%
 Queensland0.0%-2.4%
 South Australia0.6%-1.8%
 Western Australia1.1%0.7%
 Tasmania1.0%-1.3%
 Northern Territory-0.1%-0.3%
 Australian Capital Territory0.1%-2.8%
a. Excludes a small number of businesses reporting in STP where employment size information was unable to be sourced from the ABS Business Register.
b. Care should be exercised when focusing on the most recent movements in payroll jobs. For more information, please see Data limitations and revisions

Employment size source

Employment size variables were determined from ABS Business Register data. The ABS Business Register is populated using administrative data from the Australian Business Register (ABR) and business data from the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Data on the structures of large and complex businesses are also collected by ABS. The ABS Business Register is updated regularly and a frame of business, containing business characteristic information, is produced quarterly for use in the production of statistics. The March 2020 quarterly frame was used to determine employment size for businesses reporting their payroll via STP and subsequently allocate their reported payroll jobs against. Once a payroll job is allocated to an employment size category, it is held constant against that category over time.

By using the March 2020 quarter frame and holding employment size categorisation constant, the ABS is able to present information about the change in payroll jobs based on the employment size of businesses before Australia recorded its 100th confirmed COVID-19 case on 14 March 2020.
 

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a. Excludes a small number of businesses reporting in STP where employment size information was unable to be sourced from the ABS Business Register. 
b. Care should be exercised when focusing on the most recent movements in payroll jobs. For more information, please see Data limitations and revisions.  

Data downloads

I-note

These downloads are currently available in an Excel file format that may not be accessible for users of assistive devices, such as screen readers. Contact us and we can discuss the best way to meet your needs.

Table 1: National spotlight

Table 2: State and territory spotlight

Table 3: Industry spotlight

Table 4: Payroll jobs and wages indexes

Table 5: Substate - Payroll jobs indexes

Estimates of payroll jobs by Statistical Area 4 (SA4) and Statistical Area 3 (SA3) to the week ending 5 September 2020 were added on Wednesday 23 September 2020.

Table 6: Industry subdivision - Payroll jobs index

All data cubes

Updated to include Table 5 as released on Wednesday 23 September 2020.

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6160.0.55.001.

History of changes

24 September 2020: Payroll jobs by Statistical Area 4 (SA4) - Interactive Map added. 

23 September 2020: Updated estimates of Payroll jobs by Statistical Area 4 (SA4) and newly available estimates of Payroll jobs by Statistical Area 3 (SA4) added to Data Downloads Table 5.