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Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia

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

Reference period
Week ending 30 May 2020
Released
16/06/2020

Key statistics

Between the week ending 14 March 2020 (the week Australia recorded its 100th confirmed COVID-19 case) and the week ending 30 May 2020:

  • Payroll jobs decreased by 7.5%
  • Total wages paid decreased by 8.3%

Key findings

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  1. Wages data are more sensitive to period-to-period changes in reporting than jobs data and are therefore subject to greater revisions over time. They are also subject to a greater degree of seasonality. Please refer to the Methodology for further information.


Between the week ending 23 May 2020 and the week ending 30 May 2020:

  • Payroll jobs increased by 0.4%, compared to no change in the previous week (0.0%)
  • Total wages paid increased by 0.7%, compared to a decrease of 0.7% in the previous week
     

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
  • 8 May: Initial payroll deadline for the JobKeeper program
  • 8 May: Prime Minister announces RoadMap to a COVIDSafe Australia

Jobs and wages by state and territory

Since the week ending 14 March 2020 (the week Australia recorded its 100th confirmed COVID-19 case) the largest changes were:

  • Payroll jobs: Tasmania decreased by 9.5% and Victoria decreased by 9.0%
  • Total wages: Western Australia decreased by 10.7% and Tasmania decreased by 10.2%
     

Between the week ending 23 May 2020 and the week ending 30 May 2020, the largest changes were:

  • Payroll jobs: Northern Territory decreased by 0.8% and New South Wales increased by 0.7%
  • Total wages: Queensland increased by 1.5% and New South Wales increased by 1.4%
     

Table 1 - Percentage changes by states and territories (a)

 Change in payroll jobs between 23 May and 30 MayChange in payroll jobs between 14 March and 30 MayChange in total wages between 23 May and 30 MayChange in total wages between 14 March and 30 May
NSW
0.7%
-7.0%
1.4%
-8.4%
Vic.
0.1%
-9.0%
-0.8%
-8.7%
Qld
0.6%
-6.7%
1.5%
-7.1%
SA
0.5%
-6.9%
0.4%
-5.8%
WA
0.2%
-6.5%
0.8%
-10.7%
Tas.
0.3%
-9.5%
0.4%
-10.2%
NT
-0.8%
-5.7%
0.1%
-4.0%
ACT
0.2%
-6.8%
0.7%
-5.5%
Australia
0.4%
-7.5%
0.7%
-8.3%
a. Wages data are more sensitive to period-to-period changes in reporting than jobs data and are therefore subject to greater revisions over time. They are also subject to a greater degree of seasonality. Please refer to the Methodology for further information.

Jobs and wages by sex

Since the week ending 14 March 2020 (the week Australia recorded its 100th confirmed COVID-19 case):

  • Payroll jobs: Those worked by females decreased by 8.0% and those worked by males decreased by 6.3%
  • Total wages: Payments to males decreased by 9.8% and payments to females decreased by 5.9%
     

Between the week ending 23 May 2020 and the week ending 30 May 2020:

  • Payroll jobs: Those worked by males and females both increased by 0.4%
  • Total wages: Payments to males increased by 0.9% and payments to females increased by 0.3%
     

Table 2 - Changes by sex (a)

 Change in payroll jobs between 23 May and 30 MayChange in payroll jobs between 14 March and 30 MayChange in total wages between 23 May and 30 MayChange in total wages between 14 March and 30 May
Males
0.4%
-6.3%
0.9%
-9.8%
Females
0.4%
-8.0%
0.3%
-5.9%
All persons
0.4%
-7.5%
0.7%
-8.3%
a. Wages data are more sensitive to period-to-period changes in reporting than jobs data and are therefore subject to greater revisions over time. They are also subject to a greater degree of seasonality. Please refer to the Methodology for further information.
 
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Jobs and wages by age group

Since the week ending 14 March 2020 (the week Australia recorded its 100th confirmed COVID-19 case), the largest changes were:

  • Payroll jobs: Those worked by people aged under 20 decreased by 16.5% and those worked by people aged 70 and over decreased by 12.5%
  • Total wages: Payments to people aged 40-49 decreased by 9.5% and payments to people aged 50-59 decreased by 8.6%
     

Between the week ending 23 May 2020 and the week ending 30 May 2020, the largest changes were:

  • Payroll jobs: Those worked by people aged under 20 increased by 2.0% and those worked by people aged 50-59 increased by 0.6%
  • Total wages: Payments to people aged under 20 increased by 2.8% and payments to people aged 20-29 increased by 0.8%
     

Table 3 - Changes by age group (a)

 Change in payroll jobs between 23 May and 30 MayChange in payroll jobs between 14 March and 30 MayChange in total wages between 23 May and 30 MayChange in total wages between 14 March and 30 May
Aged under 20
2.0%
-16.5%
2.8%
5.4%
20-29 years olds
0.1%
-12.2%
0.8%
-7.5%
30-39 years olds
0.3%
-5.8%
0.7%
-8.3%
40-49 years olds
0.5%
-4.2%
0.6%
-9.5%
50-59 years olds
0.6%
-3.9%
0.7%
-8.6%
60-69 years olds
0.4%
-5.9%
0.2%
-7.7%
70 years and over
-0.4%
-12.5%
-0.1%
-7.2%
All persons
0.4%
-7.5%
0.7%
-8.3%
a. Wages data are more sensitive to period-to-period changes in reporting than jobs data and are therefore subject to greater revisions over time. They are also subject to a greater degree of seasonality. Please refer to the Methodology for further information.

Jobs and wages by Industry

Since the week ending 14 March 2020 (the week Australia recorded its 100th confirmed COVID-19 case) the largest changes were:

  • Payroll jobs: Accommodation and Food Services decreased by 29.1% and Arts and Recreation Services decreased by 26.3%
  • Total wages : Accommodation and Food Services decreased by 25.4% and Mining decreased by 20.8%
     

Between the week ending 23 May 2020 and the week ending 30 May 2020, the largest changes were:

  • Payroll jobs: Accommodation and Food Services Increased by 2.1% and Electricity, Gas, Waste and Water Services Increased by 1.4%
  • Total wages: Retail Trade increased by 3.6%
     

Table 4 - Changes by Industry (a)

 Change in payroll jobs between 23 May and 30 MayChange in payroll jobs between 14 March and 30 MayChange in total wages between 23 May and 30 MayChange in total wages between 14 March and 30 May
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
-1.1%
-9.5%
-1.7%
-6.4%
Mining
1.1%
-5.8%
2.2%
-20.8%
Manufacturing
1.2%
-4.0%
0.9%
-11.4%
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services
1.4%
0.4%
0.6%
-3.0%
Construction
-0.2%
-5.8%
0.8%
-7.8%
Wholesale Trade
1.0%
-4.1%
1.8%
-13.5%
Retail Trade
0.5%
-6.3%
3.6%
-4.3%
Accommodation and Food Services
2.1%
-29.1%
0.9%
-25.4%
Transport, Postal and Warehousing
0.3%
-4.8%
0.4%
-9.5%
Information Media and Telecommunications
0.8%
-10.5%
1.7%
-12.0%
Financial and Insurance Services
1.0%
0.5%
2.4%
-8.1%
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services
0.9%
-10.1%
0.9%
-13.7%
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
0.5%
-4.4%
0.8%
-8.4%
Administrative and Support Services
-0.3%
-10.1%
-0.1%
-8.1%
Public Administration and Safety
0.0%
-4.3%
0.6%
-6.3%
Education and Training
1.3%
-4.7%
1.2%
0.7%
Health Care and Social Assistance
-0.5%
-4.7%
-2.4%
-3.4%
Arts and Recreation Services
0.0%
-26.3%
2.4%
-14.0%
Other Services
-0.6%
-9.7%
-0.6%
-4.0%
All Industries
0.4%
-7.5%
0.7%
-8.3%
a. Wages data are more sensitive to period-to-period changes in reporting than jobs data and are therefore subject to greater revisions over time. They are also subject to a greater degree of seasonality. Please refer to the Methodology for further information.
 
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Jobs by Statistical Area 4 (SA4)

Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4) time series estimates are available for the first time with this release. The time series estimates are presented as index values commencing week ending 4 January 2020 and can be accessed via Table 4 in the Data downloads section.

A Jobs by SA4 - Interactive Map is also available. The map shows change in payroll jobs since week ending 14 March 2020 (the week Australia recorded its 100th confirmed COVID-19 case).

Statistical Area Level 4 (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).

For more information, see the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 – Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001).

Table 5 - Change in payroll jobs by region (a)

  Change between 14 March and 30 May (Change since 100th case of COVID-19)Change between 2 May and 30 May (monthly change)Change between 23 May and 30 May (weekly change)Change between 16 May and 23 May (weekly change)
New South Wales
-7.0%
1.6%
0.7%
0.1%
 Capital Region                           
-7.2%
1.6%
0.7%
0.0%
 Central Coast
-5.1%
1.9%
0.8%
0.3%
 Central West
-4.0%
2.7%
0.8%
1.0%
 Coffs Harbour - Grafton
-6.7%
2.7%
1.0%
0.3%
 Far West and Orana
-7.6%
1.3%
0.5%
0.3%
 Hunter Valley excluding Newcastle
-4.7%
1.8%
0.8%
0.4%
 Illawarra
-5.1%
2.4%
0.7%
-0.1%
 Mid North Coast
-5.8%
2.8%
1.3%
0.3%
 Murray
-7.4%
1.0%
-0.2%
0.6%
 New England and North West
-4.9%
2.4%
1.0%
0.1%
 Newcastle and Lake Macquarie
-4.8%
2.4%
0.8%
0.3%
 Richmond - Tweed
-8.6%
1.0%
0.3%
0.0%
 Riverina
-6.1%
2.1%
0.8%
0.3%
 Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven
-6.5%
2.3%
0.6%
-1.1%
 Sydney - Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury
-4.8%
1.7%
0.9%
0.0%
 Sydney - Blacktown
-5.1%
1.3%
0.8%
0.3%
 Sydney - City and Inner South
-10.6%
0.4%
0.5%
-0.2%
 Sydney - Eastern Suburbs
-8.4%
1.1%
0.8%
0.0%
 Sydney - Inner South West
-8.2%
0.5%
0.5%
0.1%
 Sydney - Inner West
-7.1%
1.0%
0.6%
0.2%
 Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby
-5.9%
1.1%
0.8%
-0.1%
 Sydney - Northern Beaches
-7.2%
1.6%
0.7%
0.0%
 Sydney - Outer South West
-5.0%
1.5%
0.8%
0.3%
 Sydney - Outer West and Blue Mountains
-5.3%
1.9%
0.9%
0.0%
 Sydney - Parramatta
-7.1%
0.6%
0.4%
0.1%
 Sydney - Ryde
-6.2%
1.1%
0.6%
0.0%
 Sydney - South West
-6.4%
0.7%
0.6%
0.3%
 Sydney -  Sutherland
-4.8%
2.4%
1.0%
0.2%
Victoria
-9.0%
-0.4%
0.1%
-0.1%
 Ballarat
-7.3%
0.3%
1.0%
-0.5%
 Bendigo
-8.1%
-0.3%
0.4%
-0.5%
 Geelong
-7.9%
0.1%
0.5%
-0.4%
 Hume
-6.8%
1.0%
0.4%
0.2%
 Latrobe - Gippsland
-8.1%
0.3%
-0.3%
0.1%
 Melbourne - Inner
-10.6%
-1.0%
0.1%
-0.3%
 Melbourne - Inner East
-8.0%
-0.7%
0.0%
-0.2%
 Melbourne - Inner South
-7.5%
0.1%
0.6%
-0.2%
 Melbourne - North East
-9.0%
-1.8%
-0.9%
-0.2%
 Melbourne - North West
-9.4%
-1.4%
-1.0%
-0.2%
 Melbourne - Outer East
-6.8%
0.4%
0.6%
-0.3%
 Melbourne - South East
-7.4%
-0.2%
0.3%
0.0%
 Melbourne - West
-8.4%
-0.9%
-0.3%
-0.2%
 Mornington Peninsula
-7.7%
0.3%
0.6%
-0.1%
 North West
-9.1%
1.4%
0.8%
0.6%
 Shepparton
-7.6%
0.6%
0.7%
0.5%
 Warrnambool and South West
-9.4%
-2.4%
0.2%
-0.3%
Queensland
-6.7%
1.4%
0.6%
-0.2%
 Brisbane - East
-5.4%
1.5%
0.5%
0.0%
 Brisbane - North
-5.4%
1.0%
0.4%
-0.4%
 Brisbane - South
-6.0%
0.6%
0.2%
-0.4%
 Brisbane - West
-5.0%
1.3%
0.4%
-0.3%
 Brisbane Inner City
-7.7%
0.8%
0.2%
-0.6%
 Cairns
-7.9%
1.6%
0.5%
-0.1%
 Darling Downs - Maranoa
-7.3%
1.0%
0.6%
0.8%
 Central Queensland
-5.8%
0.8%
1.1%
-1.0%
 Gold Coast
-8.8%
1.4%
0.5%
-0.3%
 Ipswich
-4.7%
1.4%
0.7%
-0.3%
 Logan - Beaudesert
-5.5%
1.1%
0.6%
-0.2%
 Mackay - Isaac - Whitsunday
-5.5%
0.8%
1.1%
-0.1%
 Moreton Bay - North
-4.8%
1.7%
1.1%
0.3%
 Moreton Bay - South
-4.6%
1.6%
0.8%
-0.5%
 Queensland - Outback
-7.0%
-1.5%
-0.3%
-1.0%
 Sunshine Coast
-7.6%
2.2%
0.5%
0.1%
 Toowoomba
-5.5%
1.2%
0.5%
-0.2%
 Townsville
-5.8%
1.5%
0.4%
-0.5%
 Wide Bay
-6.1%
1.4%
0.5%
-0.1%
South Australia
-6.9%
2.2%
0.5%
-0.2%
 Adelaide - Central and Hills
-6.5%
2.8%
0.6%
0.0%
 Adelaide - North
-5.4%
1.7%
0.5%
-0.6%
 Adelaide - South
-6.1%
2.2%
0.6%
-0.2%
 Adelaide - West
-7.0%
2.1%
0.4%
0.0%
 Barossa - Yorke - Mid North
-7.9%
1.6%
0.2%
0.5%
 South Australia - Outback
-7.5%
1.1%
-0.2%
0.1%
 South Australia - South East
-8.0%
1.9%
0.8%
-0.1%
Western Australia
-6.5%
1.4%
0.2%
0.3%
 Bunbury
-7.9%
2.2%
0.2%
0.4%
 Mandurah
-6.0%
2.2%
0.5%
0.1%
 Perth - Inner
-8.5%
0.6%
0.2%
0.2%
 Perth - North East
-5.4%
1.0%
0.2%
0.2%
 Perth - North West
-5.5%
1.5%
0.3%
0.3%
 Perth - South East
-5.8%
1.1%
0.2%
0.2%
 Perth - South West
-5.4%
1.4%
0.2%
0.2%
 Western Australia - Wheat Belt
-7.9%
1.1%
-0.2%
0.0%
 Western Australia - Outback (North)
-6.3%
-0.6%
-0.7%
0.4%
 Western Australia - Outback (South)
-7.2%
0.2%
-0.5%
0.2%
Tasmania
-9.5%
0.1%
0.3%
-0.1%
 Hobart
-9.3%
-0.3%
0.3%
-0.2%
 Launceston and North East
-9.3%
-0.5%
0.2%
-0.1%
 South East
-10.5%
-1.5%
-0.5%
-1.3%
 West and North West
-7.7%
2.3%
0.9%
0.7%
Northern Territory
-5.7%
1.5%
-0.8%
0.8%
 Darwin
-5.6%
1.5%
-0.6%
0.7%
 Northern Territory - Outback
-5.9%
0.7%
-1.2%
0.9%
Australian Capital Territory (b)
-6.8%
1.3%
0.2%
0.1%
Australia
-7.5%
1.0%
0.4%
0.0%
a. SA4 estimates are subject to a higher degree of reporting volatility and revisions than state and territory level estimates.
b. Australian Capital Territory estimates are state and territory level estimates, as there is only one SA4 in the ACT.

Jobs by Industry sub-division

Industry sub-division time series estimates are available for the first time with this release. The time series estimates are presented as index values commencing week ending 4 January 2020 and can be accessed via Table 4 in the Data downloads section.

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 (cat. no. 1292.0).

Table 6 - Changes by Industry and sub-division (a)

  Change between 14 March and 30 May (Change since 100th case of COVID-19)Change between 2 May and 30 May (monthly change)Change between 23 May and 30 May (weekly change)Change between 16 May and 23 May (weekly change)
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
-9.5%
-3.9%
-1.1%
-1.0%
 Agriculture
-9.2%
-4.1%
-1.3%
-1.1%
 Aquaculture
-4.1%
-0.5%
-1.4%
1.0%
 Forestry and Logging
-2.8%
-1.3%
0.9%
-0.5%
 Fishing, Hunting and Trapping
-11.3%
-4.1%
-0.4%
-1.3%
 Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Support Services
-15.3%
-4.9%
-1.1%
-1.0%
Mining
-5.8%
-0.4%
1.1%
-0.3%
 Coal Mining
-4.0%
0.3%
1.9%
-1.1%
 Oil and Gas Extraction (b)
-20.9%
0.3%
1.8%
0.1%
 Metal Ore Mining
-4.3%
-0.2%
1.6%
0.0%
 Non-Metallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying
-2.9%
-1.8%
0.4%
-2.3%
 Exploration and Other Mining Support Services
-3.2%
-1.3%
-0.8%
0.6%
Manufacturing
-4.0%
1.2%
1.2%
0.2%
 Food Product Manufacturing
-3.8%
2.0%
1.8%
1.0%
 Beverage and Tobacco Product Manufacturing
-16.3%
-1.0%
0.8%
-0.3%
 Textile, Leather, Clothing and Footwear Manufacturing
-10.6%
0.0%
1.7%
-0.5%
 Wood Product Manufacturing
-2.4%
-0.1%
0.8%
0.4%
 Pulp, Paper and Converted Paper Product Manufacturing
-6.7%
-5.6%
1.1%
0.0%
 Printing (including the Reproduction of Recorded Media)
-4.8%
1.8%
1.7%
0.7%
 Petroleum and Coal Product Manufacturing
0.0%
2.0%
2.1%
0.3%
 Basic Chemical and Chemical Product Manufacturing
3.5%
3.2%
1.2%
0.2%
 Polymer Product and Rubber Product Manufacturing
-2.6%
-0.2%
1.3%
0.0%
 Non-Metallic Mineral Product Manufacturing
-4.4%
0.0%
0.6%
-0.9%
 Primary Metal and Metal Product Manufacturing
-5.0%
1.4%
0.9%
-0.3%
 Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing
-2.9%
1.2%
0.7%
0.2%
 Transport Equipment Manufacturing
-3.8%
1.4%
1.2%
0.0%
 Machinery and Equipment Manufacturing
-2.9%
1.8%
0.5%
-0.4%
 Furniture and Other Manufacturing
-5.4%
1.7%
1.3%
-0.2%
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services
0.4%
1.5%
1.4%
-0.2%
 Electricity Supply
3.9%
1.7%
1.5%
0.0%
 Gas Supply
9.7%
2.1%
0.8%
0.4%
 Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Services
-1.1%
1.3%
1.5%
-0.6%
 Waste Collection, Treatment and Disposal Services
-4.0%
1.2%
1.3%
-0.2%
Construction
-5.8%
-0.8%
-0.2%
-0.7%
 Building Construction
-6.0%
-0.8%
-0.6%
-1.1%
 Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction
-5.6%
0.2%
0.8%
-0.7%
 Construction Services
-5.8%
-1.1%
-0.2%
-0.6%
Wholesale
-4.1%
1.4%
1.0%
-0.4%
 Basic Material Wholesaling
-2.9%
0.0%
0.7%
-0.3%
 Machinery and Equipment Wholesaling
-1.4%
1.4%
0.9%
-0.3%
 Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Parts Wholesaling
-4.1%
5.6%
2.5%
-0.6%
 Grocery, Liquor and Tobacco Product Wholesaling
-7.9%
-0.5%
0.8%
-0.8%
 Other Goods Wholesaling
-7.6%
1.3%
0.3%
0.3%
 Commission-Based Wholesaling (b)
-1.6%
6.6%
3.6%
-4.2%
Retail Trade
-6.3%
3.1%
0.5%
0.6%
 Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Parts Retailing
-3.8%
4.1%
3.6%
1.5%
 Fuel Retailing
4.6%
-0.8%
0.1%
-0.1%
 Food Retailing
-4.3%
1.8%
-0.4%
-2.1%
 Other Store-Based Retailing
-8.2%
3.9%
0.4%
2.0%
 Non-Store Retailing and Retail Commission Based Buying and/or Selling
-12.2%
1.4%
0.0%
0.7%
Accommodation and Food Services
-29.1%
5.0%
2.1%
1.1%
 Accommodation
-31.7%
0.0%
1.3%
-0.3%
 Food and Beverage Services
-28.7%
5.7%
2.2%
1.3%
Transport, Postal and Warehousing
-4.8%
-0.1%
0.3%
0.3%
 Road Transport
-4.9%
-0.9%
-0.2%
0.2%
 Rail Transport
0.8%
0.4%
0.3%
0.0%
 Water Transport
-7.9%
3.7%
-1.8%
4.2%
 Air and Space Transport
-6.1%
1.8%
0.9%
0.9%
 Other Transport
-23.1%
1.6%
-0.5%
0.6%
 Postal and Courier Pick-up and Delivery Services
-2.5%
0.8%
0.9%
0.1%
 Transport Support Services
-6.1%
-0.9%
0.2%
-0.6%
 Warehousing and Storage Services
-3.6%
0.0%
1.9%
2.7%
Information, Media and Telecommunications
-10.5%
-2.2%
0.8%
0.0%
 Publishing (except Internet and Music Publishing)
-5.8%
0.2%
1.6%
-0.2%
 Motion Picture and Sound Recording Activities
-27.2%
-2.7%
0.3%
-0.8%
 Broadcasting (except Internet)
-5.6%
-0.8%
0.5%
-0.2%
 Internet Publishing and Broadcasting (b)
-0.5%
2.6%
1.2%
2.9%
 Telecommunications Services
-9.6%
-4.8%
0.9%
0.3%
 Internet Service Providers, Web Search Portals and Data Processing Services
-4.9%
-0.1%
0.9%
-0.3%
 Library and Other Information Services
-5.8%
-0.8%
-1.6%
3.5%
Financial and Insurance Services
0.5%
0.3%
1.0%
-0.2%
 Finance
0.7%
0.9%
1.2%
0.2%
 Insurance and Superannuation Funds
-0.4%
-0.2%
1.5%
-0.9%
 Auxiliary Finance and Insurance Services
0.7%
-0.3%
0.7%
-0.7%
Rental, Hiring and Leasing Services
-10.1%
1.1%
0.9%
-0.3%
 Rental and Hiring Services (except Real Estate)
-11.1%
2.5%
0.9%
0.1%
 Property Operators and Real Estate Services
-9.6%
0.5%
0.9%
-0.5%
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
-4.4%
-0.2%
0.5%
-0.5%
 Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (Except Computer System Design and Related Services
-4.9%
0.1%
0.4%
-0.4%
 Computer System Design and Related Services
-2.5%
-1.3%
0.6%
-0.8%
Administrative and Support Services
-10.1%
0.3%
-0.3%
-0.3%
 Administrative Services
-9.4%
1.0%
0.2%
-0.3%
 Building Cleaning, Pest Control and Other Support Services
-13.4%
-2.8%
-2.7%
-0.5%
Public Administration and Safety
-4.3%
0.3%
0.0%
-0.3%
 Public Administration
-4.7%
0.6%
0.3%
-0.4%
 Public Order, Safety and Regulatory Services
-3.4%
-0.4%
-0.6%
-0.2%
Education and Training
-4.7%
4.5%
1.3%
0.6%
 Preschool and School Education
-4.1%
6.1%
2.1%
0.8%
 Tertiary Education
-0.3%
3.1%
0.9%
0.4%
 Adult, Community and Other Education
-24.5%
-2.0%
-2.4%
-0.2%
Health Care and Social Assistance
-4.7%
0.1%
-0.5%
0.2%
 Hospitals
-5.9%
0.4%
-0.9%
0.3%
 Medical and Other Health Care Services
-7.8%
-1.7%
0.9%
-0.8%
 Residential Care Services
0.9%
-0.7%
-0.5%
0.5%
 Social Assistance Services
-4.3%
2.0%
-1.3%
0.8%
Arts and Recreation Services
-26.3%
-2.8%
0.0%
-1.5%
 Heritage Activities
-6.0%
0.0%
0.9%
1.2%
 Creative and Performing Arts Activities
-30.8%
-5.1%
0.1%
-0.5%
 Sports and Recreation Activities
-32.5%
-3.8%
-0.4%
-2.2%
 Gambling Activities
-9.6%
0.0%
0.4%
-0.9%
Other Services
-9.7%
1.2%
-0.6%
-0.1%
 Repair and Maintenance
-5.1%
2.1%
0.2%
-0.3%
 Personal and Other Services
-11.9%
0.8%
-1.0%
0.0%
 Private Households Employing Staff and Undifferentiated Goods and Service Producing Activities of Household for Own Use
-6.9%
5.5%
2.0%
-1.8%
All Industries
-7.5%
1.0%
0.4%
0.0%
a. Industry subdivision level estimates are subject to a higher degree of reporting volatility and revisions than industry division level estimates.
b. Particular care should be exercised in using this estimate, which is expected to be subject to high degree of revision in the next release.

Incorporating JobKeeper supported back payments into weekly payroll jobs and wages in Australia

The estimates published in this release are derived from Single Touch Payroll (STP) data, which is provided to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) by employers with STP-enabled payroll or accounting software, each time the business runs its payroll.

The previous release of Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia covered the period up to week ending 2 May. For many employers this was prior to JobKeeper supported back payments being paid.

This release extends data to the week ending 30 May and includes a considerable amount of JobKeeper supported back payments.

This spotlight article explores how these back payments have been reflected in revisions to payroll jobs and wages data.

Basics of the JobKeeper program and back payments

On 30 March 2020, the Australian Government announced the JobKeeper Program.

Under this program, eligible businesses and not-for-profit organisations affected by COVID-19 can elect to receive $1500 per fortnight (before tax) in wage support for each eligible employee. Businesses must have paid their employees before they can receive the JobKeeper payment.

Where an employee’s total remuneration is less than $1,500 per fortnight, or they were stood down, the employer must provide the employee at least $1,500 per fortnight. Where an employee earns more than $1,500 per fortnight, an employer can use the payment to subsidise the employee’s wages. JobKeeper supported payments are not separately identified within employee wage payments in STP reporting or within estimates in this release.

JobKeeper-eligible employees who received less than $1,500 per fortnight in wages in the weeks following 30 March 2020 were eligible to receive a lump sum back payment for all or part of the period, back to that date. These back payments have resulted in revisions to the payroll information for these periods.

Revisions resulting from JobKeeper supported back payments and other updates

Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia data reflect the period in which wages were earned (i.e. ‘accrued’, in accounting terms). This may be different to the week in which they were paid to an employee.

For example, for employees who are paid fortnightly, the ABS uses the information contained in the Single Touch Payroll data to allocate the wage across the two weeks in which that wage was earned.

JobKeeper lump sum back payments which were paid by businesses and received by employees in late April or early May have been allocated to the period identified on the employees’ payslip in which they were earned or intended. For many job holders this was the previous four reference weeks. Allocating these payments across these weeks has therefore resulted in revisions to payroll jobs and wages in Tables 1 to 4 of this release.

In addition to JobKeeper back payments and standard payroll updates, revisions to the data also reflect changes across the entire time series (back to January) related to:

  • improvements in the ABS' imputation methodology for payroll jobs and wages; and
  • changes in payroll jobs and wages for additional businesses who started to report through Single Touch Payroll to receive JobKeeper payments (the STP coverage of small employers increased from around 71% to over 80%, which the imputation methodology has accounted for).
     

Graph 5 shows the payroll jobs and wages series as published in the last release (up to the week ending 2 May, published on 19 May) and in this release, which includes these revisions and extends the series through to the week ending 30 May.

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Comparing the 'accrual' and 'cash' views

To support effective analysis of the effect of Job Keeper supported back payments, before and after the payments were made, the ABS has included an extra one-off table for this release (Table 5 Historical Indices on a Payment Period Basis, with data up to the week ending 16 May ).

Graph 6 shows what the payroll jobs and wages series would have been if the JobKeeper supported back payments had not been attributed to the earlier periods, but were instead all allocated to the period they were received in (i.e. on a ‘cash basis’, in accounting terms).

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All commentary in Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages reflect the standard accrual approach. More information on this can be found in the Methodology for this release.

For more information on the conceptual treatment of JobKeeper in ABS economic statistics, refer to Economic Measurement during COVID-19: Selected issues in the Economic Accounts, May 2020 (cat. no. 5261.0).

Secondary jobs are 29 per cent of all job losses

The ABS estimates that the number of payroll jobs in the week ending 30 May was 7.5% lower than the week ending 14 March 2020 (the week Australia recorded its 100th confirmed COVID-19 case).

The number of payroll jobs is not the same as the number of employed people in Labour Force statistics for a range of reasons, one of which is multiple job holding.

Prior to the COVID-19 period, the Australian Labour Account showed that around 6% of employed people worked multiple jobs at the same time. As of March quarter 2020, the Labour Account showed that around 93.2% of jobs in the labour market were ‘main jobs’ and around 6.8% of jobs were ‘secondary jobs’ (i.e. other jobs worked concurrently by multiple job holders).

Analysis of underlying Single Touch Payroll data suggests that around 29.0% of jobs that were lost since the week ending March 14 were secondary jobs.¹

In addition to providing important insights into how these data may relate to the person-based measures in Labour Force statistics, this information also provides insights into the potential job retention dynamics around JobKeeper. JobKeeper can only cover a single job for an eligible employee, with main jobs likely to be supported to a greater extent than secondary jobs.

Table 7 shows the percentage change in main and secondary payroll jobs between the week ending 14 March 2020 (i.e. the week Australia recorded its 100th confirmed COVID-19 case) and the week ending 30 May 2020. It shows larger net secondary job losses, in percentage terms, over the COVID-19 period.

Table 7 - Percentage change in main and secondary jobs since 14 March 2020 (100th case of COVID-19)

 Percentage change from 14 March to 30 May
Main jobs
-5.6%
Secondary jobs
-38.8%
All jobs
-7.5%

Table 8 shows the split between main and secondary jobs in payroll jobs, and highlights the declining proportion of secondary jobs over the COVID-19 period (from around 6% in mid-March to around 4% in late May).

Table 8 - Proportion of main and secondary jobs

 Week ending 14 MarchWeek ending 30 May
Main jobs
94.4%
96.3%
Secondary jobs
5.6%
3.7%
Total
100.0%
100.0%

Footnote

  1. Any analysis of main and secondary job losses in Single Touch Payroll data is limited to jobs in STP-enabled businesses, compared to the more holistic but less contemporary annual data in Jobs in Australia (cat. no. 6160.0).

Seasonality in payroll jobs and wages data - unavoidable limitations

Considering seasonality in weekly payroll jobs and wages data

Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia estimates are presented as ‘original’ data series. The release does not include the other standard time series types of seasonally adjusted or trend data that are found in other labour statistics releases (eg. Labour Force).

Generally, three to five years of data are required before good seasonally adjusted data can be produced. Since Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a relatively new program (with most large employers moving to the platform during 2018-19 and smaller employers through the second half of 2019), it is not yet possible to produce seasonality adjusted series (with seasonal elements removed) or trend series (with both the seasonal elements and irregular fluctuations removed).

This means that some of the change in a Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages data will not necessarily reflect changes in the economy due to COVID-19. Some changes may also reflect seasonal changes in the labour market, particularly in wages. For example, during April 2020 there was a number of public holidays and school holidays that may have impacted on the level of wages during this period.

A particularly high degree of seasonal change can be seen in the payroll jobs and wages data for January and February. Summer is a period of pronounced seasonality in Australia, with considerable labour market activity before Christmas, and a combination of public holidays, school holidays and lower business activity in the period after Christmas.

Similar patterns of seasonal change can be seen in other labour statistics, such as monthly Labour Force statistics, which can provide important context for interpreting changes in payroll data, until seasonally adjusted data become available.

Seasonal change between January and March - comparison with labour force data

An increase in both payroll jobs and wages was observed between January and March 2020. This pattern was broadly consistent with seasonal increases in both the number of total employees and weekly hours worked that are observed each year in the original Labour Force series.

The following two graphs compare changes in payroll jobs and wages series with original data from Table 8 and Table 9 of Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery, April 2020 (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001). They show a similar seasonal changes in the early period of each year in monthly Labour Force data (with 2019 and 2020 presented) and related Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages data (for which data are only available for 2020).

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It is also important to note that the increase in wages and jobs between January and March is not a result of more employers reporting through STP. The methodology used in Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia controls for changes in employer coverage to ensure that the index series are as comparable as possible over time.

Interactive map - Jobs by SA4

To view the jobs by statistical area 4 (SA4) - interactive map, click here

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 indices

Table 5: Historical indices on a payment period basis

History of changes

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18/06/2020 - Link to interactive map added to Jobs by Statistical Area 4 (SA4) page.

17/06/2020 - Interactive Statistical Area 4 (SA4) map added.