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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 14 November 2020
Released
1/12/2020
Future releases
  • Next Release 15/12/2020
    Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia, Week ending 28 November 2020
  • Next Release 19/01/2021
    Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia, Week ending 2 January 2021
  • Next Release 2/02/2021
    Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia, Week ending 16 January 2021
  • View all releases

Key statistics

Between the week ending 14 March 2020 and the week ending 14 November 2020:

  • Payroll jobs decreased by 2.9%
  • Total wages decreased by 3.9%

Content changes between consecutive releases are highlighted in a new section: Changes in this release

High level analysis suggests that by 14 November 2020 there were approximately 320,000 fewer payroll jobs in STP-enabled businesses than on 14 March 2020.

Between the week ending 31 October 2020 and the week ending 14 November 2020:

  • Payroll jobs increased by 0.1%, equalling the previous fortnight increase of 0.1%
  • Total wages paid increased by 0.8%, compared to a decrease of 0.7% in the previous fortnight
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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.

State and territory

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

  • Payroll jobs : Victoria decreased by 5.4% and Tasmania decreased by 4.1%
  • Total wages : New South Wales decreased by 5.3% and Western Australia decreased by 5.1%

Between the week ending 31 October 2020 and the week ending 14 November 2020 the largest changes across states and territories were:

  • Payroll jobs : the Australian Capital Territory decreased by 1.3% and Tasmania increased by 0.7%
  • Total wages : Tasmania increased by 2.3% and Victoria increased by 1.7%
Table 1 - Percentage change by states and territories
 Payroll jobs Total wages 
 Change between 31 October and 14 November (a)Change between 14 March and 14 NovemberChange between 31 October and 14 November (a)Change between 14 March and 14 November
New South Wales-0.3%-2.8%0.5%-5.3%
Victoria0.4%-5.4%1.7%-3.3%
Queensland0.2%-1.8%0.8%-2.6%
South Australia0.4%-0.8%0.2%-0.7%
Western Australia0.0%-0.4%0.0%-5.1%
Tasmania0.7%-4.1%2.3%-3.9%
Northern Territory0.3%0.3%1.5%0.7%
Australian Capital Territory-1.3%-3.3%-0.8%-2.9%
Australia0.1%-2.9%0.8%-3.9%
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

Interactive maps

Interactive maps presenting change in payroll jobs by substate regions (SA4 and SA3) up to the week ending 31 October 2020 are found in this link. The interactive maps are updated in alternate fortnightly releases, to coincide with the update of substate region estimates, and will be next updated in this release on 18 December 2020.

How to use:

  • Select: Geographical area can be selected using the Statistical Area 3 (SA3) or Statistical Area 4 (SA4) upper tabs.
  • 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 or SA3 region.
  • Reference week: the date slider at the bottom of the map can be moved to select a particular week of interest, or see changes over time.
  • Data: on the relevant map, an SA4 or SA3 can be selected to view the underlying data. The time series index estimates for SA4 and SA3s can be found in Table 5 of the Data downloads.
  • If the maps do not load successfully, please try refreshing the page.

SA4 and SA3 boundaries presented in the interactive maps accord with those presented in the Australian Statistical Geography Standard, Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2016.

Sub-state - payroll jobs

Time series estimates of payroll jobs by sub-state regions, Statistical Area 4 (SA4) and Statistical Area 3 (SA3), are presented as index values through to the week ending 31 October 2020 in Table 5 of the Data downloads. These estimates will be next updated in this release on 16 December 2020. 

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.

Sex and age group

Sex

Since the week ending 14 March 2020:

  • Payroll jobs : Those worked by males decreased by 4.4% and those worked by females decreased by 3.1%
  • Total wages : Payments to males decreased by 6.0% and payments to females decreased by 1.7%

Between the week ending 31 October 2020 and the week ending 14 November 2020:

  • Payroll jobs : Those worked by males decreased by 0.2% and those worked by females increased by 0.1%
  • Total wages : Payments to females increased by 0.9% and payments to males increased by 0.7%
Table 2 - Percentage change by sex
 Payroll jobs Total wages 
 Change between 31 October and 14 November (a)Change between 14 March and 14 NovemberChange between 31 October and 14 November (a)Change between 14 March and 14 November
Males-0.2%-4.4%0.7%-6.0%
Females0.1%-3.1%0.9%-1.7%
All persons0.1%-2.9%0.8%-3.9%
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 the 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

Estimates for the under 20s age group now exclude persons aged under 15 years. For more information, see the Week on week revisions section in Data limitations and revisions.  

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

  • Payroll jobs : Those worked by people aged under 20 increased by 16.5% and those worked by people aged 70 years and over decreased by 13.1%
  • Total wages : Payments to people aged under 20 increased by 41.6% and payments to people aged 70 years and over decreased by 13.6%

Between the week ending 31 October 2020 and the week ending 14 November 2020 the largest changes across age groups were:

  • Payroll jobs : Those worked by people aged under 20 increased by 4.7% and those worked by people aged 70 years and over decreased by 1.2%
  • Total wages : Payments to people aged under 20 increased by 6.0% and payments to people aged 70 years and over decreased by 2.6%
Table 3 - Percentage change by age group
 Payroll jobs Total wages 
 Change between 31 October and 14 November (a)Change between 14 March and 14 NovemberChange between 31 October and 14 November (a)Change between 14 March and 14 November
Aged under 204.7%16.5%6.0%41.6%
20-29 year olds0.5%-3.6%1.8%3.1%
30-39 year olds-0.1%-3.0%0.9%-3.1%
40-49 year olds0.1%-2.1%0.9%-5.6%
50-59 year olds0.1%-2.6%0.9%-6.4%
60-69 year olds-0.1%-6.9%0.6%-9.4%
Aged 70 years and over-1.2%-13.1%-2.6%-13.6%
All persons0.1%-2.9%0.8%-3.9%
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 the Data downloads.

Industry

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

  • Payroll jobs : Accommodation and food services decreased by 14.4% and Information media and telecommunications decreased by 12.6%
  • Total wages : Mining decreased by 19.9% and Accommodation and food services decreased by 13.2%

Between the week ending 31 October 2020 and the week ending 14 November 2020 the largest changes across industry were:

  • Payroll jobs : Agriculture, forestry and fishing decreased by 2.8% and Other services decreased by 1.8%
  • Total wages : Manufacturing increased by 4.8% and Retail trade decreased by 3.2%
Table 4 - Percentage change by industry
 Payroll jobs Total wages 
 Change between 31 October and 14 November (a)Change between 14 March and 14 NovemberChange between 31 October and 14 November (a)Change between 14 March and 14 November
Agriculture, forestry and fishing-2.8%-6.5%-0.4%0.7%
Mining (b)1.1%-1.8%-0.1%-19.9%
Manufacturing1.0%-3.0%4.8%-5.0%
Electricity, gas, water and waste services0.7%-2.4%0.6%-1.5%
Construction-1.3%-5.8%-0.6%-4.8%
Wholesale trade0.1%-4.0%1.4%-9.8%
Retail trade1.8%0.5%3.2%1.1%
Accommodation and food services0.8%-14.4%1.1%-13.2%
Transport, postal and warehousing0.9%-5.1%0.3%-9.4%
Information media and telecommunications-1.2%-12.6%-1.9%-9.8%
Financial and insurance services-0.3%2.7%-0.6%-7.5%
Rental, hiring and real estate services-1.4%-6.0%-1.9%-6.3%
Professional, scientific and technical services-1.2%-4.6%0.9%-4.5%
Administrative and support services-0.3%-3.3%0.6%-1.5%
Public administration and safety0.7%3.5%0.8%0.8%
Education and training1.3%-1.4%2.0%1.1%
Health care and social assistance-0.7%1.3%-0.4%2.5%
Arts and recreation services0.8%-10.6%1.5%-9.3%
Other services-1.8%-5.2%-0.4%0.7%
All industries0.1%-2.9%0.8%-3.9%
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 and September 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

Estimates of payroll jobs by industry subdivision were updated through to the week ending 14 November 2020, as part of this release on Wednesday 2 December 2020.

Time series estimates of payroll jobs by industry subdivision are presented as index values, up to the week ending 14 November 2020 in Table 6 of the 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.

Employment size

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

Care should be exercised when focusing on recent movements in payroll jobs by employment size, as they are subject to higher than usual levels of revision (over a longer period) than other estimates. The ABS is currently investigating underlying data to identify the cause and establish a method to reduce the future level of revisions in this series.

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a. Care should be exercised when focusing on recent movements in payroll jobs. For more information, see the Reporting variability section in Data limitations and revisions.  

Table 5 - Percentage change in Payroll jobs by state and territory, by employment size as at 14 March 2020 
  Change between 31 October and 14 November (a)Change between 14 March and 14 November
Under 20 employees -3.0%-6.0%
 New South Wales-4.0%-7.5%
 Victoria-2.7%-8.9%
 Queensland-2.3%-3.3%
 South Australia-1.6%-1.0%
 Western Australia-2.7%-2.0%
 Tasmania-0.4%-5.1%
 Northern Territory-2.1%-1.5%
 Australian Capital Territory-4.3%-6.5%
20-199 employees 0.0%-5.0%
 New South Wales-0.2%-4.8%
 Victoria0.4%-8.3%
 Queensland0.3%-2.6%
 South Australia0.0%-3.1%
 Western Australia-1.1%-2.1%
 Tasmania0.0%-7.3%
 Northern Territory0.7%-1.6%
 Australian Capital Territory-0.9%-4.9%
200 employees and over 1.7%-0.3%
 New South Wales1.5%0.4%
 Victoria2.0%-2.2%
 Queensland1.7%-0.2%
 South Australia1.6%0.4%
 Western Australia1.6%1.1%
 Tasmania2.2%-0.7%
 Northern Territory1.1%2.2%
 Australian Capital Territory-0.5%-1.7%
a. Care should be exercised when focusing on recent movements in payroll jobs. For more information, see the Reporting variability section in 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.

Businesses which are newly created after March 2020 are unable to be assigned a size and are subsequently excluded from the index calculation of employment size groups. These 'new' businesses are included in the calculation of all sizes category (for state and territory, and national level estimates). The number of STP reporting businesses 'born' since Australia recorded its 100th confirmed COVID-19 in March 2020 is considered small, hence their exclusion is expected to have minimal impact on the estimates. The ABS exploring how to incorporate newly created businesses into the employment size estimates and may include them in a future release.

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 31 October 2020, as updated on Wednesday 18 November 2020. 

Table 6: Industry subdivision - Payroll jobs index

Updated estimates of payroll jobs by industry subdivision to the week ending 14 November 2020, were added on Wednesday 2 December 2020.

Table 7: Employment size - Payroll jobs index

All data cubes

Updated to include Table 6 as released on Wednesday 2 December 2020. 

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6160.0.55.001.

Changes in this release

Estimates for the under 20s age group now exclude persons aged under 15 years. For more information, see the Week on week revisions section in Data limitations and revisions.  

Text in the following sections have been updated in this release:

  • Employment size, including Employment size source
  • Methodology: How data are collected - Other data sources 
  • Methodology: Data limitations and revisions - Reporting variability and Week on week revisions

Post-release changes

2 December 2020:  Industry subdivision - Payroll jobs indexes (Table 6 of the Data downloads) were updated to the week ending 14 November 2020.