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Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia

Payroll jobs and wages estimates, sourced from Single Touch Payroll (STP) data

Reference period
Week ending 31 July 2021
Released
26/08/2021

Key statistics

Between the weeks ending 17 and 31 July 2021:

  • Payroll jobs decreased by 2.0%
  • Total wages paid decreased by 2.7%

Wages estimates reinstated

Higher than usual variation in business payroll reporting around the end of financial year saw the temporary suspension of wages estimates in the last two releases. Wages estimates have been reinstated in this release, but continue to show volatility around the end of financial year period. Users should use caution when referring to wages estimates across June and July.  

Reduction in volatility in latest weeks of data

The time between the reference week and the release date has been extended to allow for more complete business reporting, improving the quality of estimates by reducing volatility in the most recent weeks of data. For more information, see the Imputation section of How data are processed.

National

    In the fortnight up to the week ending 31 July 2021:

    • Payroll jobs decreased by 2.0%, compared to a decrease of 1.8% in the previous fortnight
    • Total wages paid decreased by 2.7%, compared to a decrease of 3.2% in the previous fortnight
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    Table 1 - Percentage change in payroll jobs and total wages
    In the fortnight since 17 Jul 2021In the month since 03 Jul 2021In the year since 01 Aug 2020
    Payroll jobs-2.0%-3.7%1.7%
    Total wages-2.7%-5.8%5.2%

    Estimates of changes throughout this release are calculated using un-rounded index values. They may be different from, but are more accurate than, movements obtained from the rounded index values.

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    1. Care should be exercised when focusing on the most recent movements in estimates. For more information, see Data limitations and revisions
    2. Payroll jobs and wages data during June and July see a greater variation in business payroll reporting around the end of financial year. For more information, see Variation in revisions in Data limitations and revisions

    State and territory

    All geographical areas in this release represent the residential address of the jobholder. 

    The largest changes in states and territories in the fortnight up to the week ending 31 July 2021 were:

    Payroll jobs:

    • New South Wales decreased by 3.7%
    • South Australia decreased by 2.7%

    Total wages:

    • South Australia decreased by 4.6%
    • New South Wales decreased by 4.3%
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    Table 2 - Percentage change by states and territories
     Payroll jobs Total wages 
     Change between 17 Jul 2021 and 31 Jul 2021 (a)Change between 14 Mar 2020 and 31 Jul 2021Change between 17 Jul 2021 and 31 Jul 2021 (a)Change between 14 Mar 2020 and 31 Jul 2021
    New South Wales-3.7%-3.2%-4.3%-1.6%
    Victoria-1.3%1.4%-2.0%5.0%
    Queensland-1.3%3.5%-2.1%4.7%
    South Australia-2.7%2.3%-4.6%2.0%
    Western Australia0.0%6.5%-0.3%4.0%
    Tasmania-0.6%1.3%-1.6%2.7%
    Northern Territory-0.2%6.3%-1.3%5.3%
    Australian Capital Territory-0.9%1.8%-1.3%6.2%
    Australia-2.0%1.0%-2.7%2.5%

    a. Care should be exercised when focusing on the most recent movements in estimates. For more information, see Data limitations and revisions

    An additional index of Australian payroll jobs with New South Wales excluded (Rest of Australia) is available below, providing alternative insights into the period of increased COVID-19 restrictions in New South Wales.

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    a. Care should be exercised when focusing on the most recent movements in estimates. For more information, see Data limitations and revisions

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    Map 1 - State and territory percentage change in payroll jobs, in the fortnight to 31 July 2021

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    This map presents the percentage change in payroll jobs in the fortnight up to 31 July 2021, by the state and territory of the jobholder's residential address. 

    - New South Wales (-3.7%)
    - Victoria (-1.3%)
    - Queensland (-1.3%)
    - South Australia (-2.7%)
    - Western Australia (0.0%)
    - Tasmania (-0.6%)
    - Northern Territory (-0.2%)
    - Australian Capital Territory (-0.9%)

    Sub-state - payroll jobs

    Time series estimates of payroll jobs by sub-state regions, Statistical Area 4 (SA4) and Statistical Area 3 (SA3) and Greater Capital City Area (GCCSA) regions, are presented as index values in Table 5 and 5A of the Data downloads. 

    For more information on the geography used in this release, see the Glossary.

     

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    Map 2 - GCCSA regions percentage change in payroll jobs, in the fortnight to 31 July 2021

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    This map presents the percentage change in payroll jobs in the fortnight up to 31 July 2021, by the GCCSA region of the jobholder's residential address. 
    - Greater Sydney (-4.9%)
    - Rest of New South Wales (-1.5%)
    - Greater Melbourne (-1.4%)
    - Rest of Victoria (-1.1%)
    - Greater Brisbane (-1.4%)
    - Rest of Queensland (-1.3%)
    - Greater Adelaide (-2.5%)
    - Rest of South Australia (-3.3%)
    - Greater Perth (-0.1%)
    - Rest of Western Australia (0.0%)
    - Greater Hobart (-0.2%)
    - Rest of Tasmania (-1.1%)
    - Greater Darwin (-0.4%)
    - Rest of Northern Territory (-0.2%)
    - Australian Capital Territory (-0.9%)

    Footnotes

    The ACT only has one GCCSA region for the entire Territory.

    Sex

    In the fortnight up to the week ending 31 July 2021:

    Payroll jobs: 

    • Worked by males decreased by 2.2%
    • Worked by females decreased by 1.7%

    Total wages:

    • Payments to males decreased by 3.2%
    • Payments to females decreased by 2.0%
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    Table 3 - Percentage change by sex (a)
     Payroll jobs Total wages 
     Change between 17 Jul 2021 and 31 Jul 2021 (b)Change between 14 Mar 2020 and 31 Jul 2021Change between 17 Jul 2021 and 31 Jul 2021 (b)Change between 14 Mar 2020 and 31 Jul 2021
    Males-2.2%-1.3%-3.2%0.3%
    Females-1.7%0.0%-2.0%4.8%
    All persons-2.0%1.0%-2.7%2.5%

    a. Persons with 'unknown' sex are only included in the calculation of All persons indexes. For more information, see Data components, totals and index calculation in Data limitations and revisions
    b. Care should be exercised when focusing on the most recent movements in estimates. For more information, see Data limitations and revisions

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    1. Care should be exercised when focusing on the most recent movements in payroll jobs. For more information, see Data limitations and revisions

    Age group

    The largest changes in age groups in the fortnight up to the week ending 31 July 2021 were:

    Payroll jobs: 

    • Worked by persons aged 15-19 decreased by 3.1%
    • Worked by persons aged 20-29 decreased by 3.0%

    Total wages:

    • Payments to persons aged 15-19 decreased by 5.8%
    • Payments to persons aged 20-29 and 70 years and over both decreased by 3.9%
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    Table 4 - Percentage change by age group
     Payroll jobs Total wages 
     Change between 17 Jul 2021 and 31 Jul 2021 (a)Change between 14 Mar 2020 and 31 Jul 2021Change between 17 Jul 2021 and 31 Jul 2021 (a)Change between 14 Mar 2020 and 31 Jul 2021
    15-19 year olds-3.1%-2.6%-5.8%-3.5%
    20-29 year olds-3.0%-2.2%-3.9%1.6%
    30-39 year olds-1.7%1.9%-2.7%3.1%
    40-49 year olds-1.3%1.4%-2.1%1.0%
    50-59 year olds-1.4%2.3%-2.0%2.6%
    60-69 year olds-1.7%5.4%-2.8%8.0%
    Aged 70 years and over-2.7%5.0%-3.9%12.3%
    All persons-2.0%1.0%-2.7%2.5%

    a. Care should be exercised when focusing on the most recent movements in estimates. For more information, see Data limitations and revisions

    5 year age groups

    Time series estimates of payroll jobs by 5 year age groups are presented as index values in Table 8 of the Data downloads. 

    Industry

    The largest changes in industries in the fortnight up to the week ending 31 July 2021 were:

    Payroll jobs: 

    • Arts and recreation services decreased by 5.9%
    • Accommodation and food services decreased by 5.8%

    Total wages:

    • Accommodation and food services decreased by 8.7%
    • Arts and recreation services decreased by 6.1%
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    Table 5 - Percentage change by industry
     Payroll jobs (a) Total wages (a) 
     Change between 17 Jul 2021 and 31 Jul 2021 (b)Change between 14 Mar 2020 and 31 Jul 2021Change between 17 Jul 2021 and 31 Jul 2021 (b)Change between 14 Mar 2020 and 31 Jul 2021
    Agriculture, forestry and fishing-2.9%-0.1%-2.6%2.9%
    Mining-1.2%1.0%-0.5%-15.0%
    Manufacturing-1.5%-2.4%-3.2%-4.8%
    Electricity, gas, water and waste services-0.8%3.2%0.0%-1.6%
    Construction-4.0%-1.3%-5.8%-1.5%
    Wholesale trade-2.3%-2.2%-3.1%-3.3%
    Retail trade-2.7%-1.5%-6.0%-0.9%
    Accommodation and food services-5.8%-14.1%-8.7%-18.0%
    Transport, postal and warehousing-1.5%-6.7%-3.2%-6.7%
    Information media and telecommunications-0.4%-6.7%0.9%2.0%
    Financial and insurance services-1.8%9.5%-2.1%4.0%
    Rental, hiring and real estate services-2.0%0.9%-4.1%1.5%
    Professional, scientific and technical services-0.8%6.7%-1.2%11.1%
    Administrative and support services-3.8%3.4%-5.9%12.3%
    Public administration and safety-0.5%10.8%0.8%10.7%
    Education and training1.0%-3.5%0.7%0.7%
    Health care and social assistance-0.8%7.1%-1.7%8.7%
    Arts and recreation services-5.9%-8.8%-6.1%-6.6%
    Other services-3.0%1.7%-3.5%8.7%
    All industries-2.0%1.0%-2.7%2.5%

    a. Some industries experience pronounced seasonality in either payroll jobs and wages or both. For more information, see Seasonality in Data limitations and revisions.
    b. Care should be exercised when focusing on the most recent movements in estimates. For more information, see Data limitations and revisions.

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    1. Industries ranked by percentage change in the latest fortnight. 

    Industry subdivision - Payroll jobs

    Time series estimates of payroll jobs by industry subdivision are presented as index values in Table 6 of the Data downloads. For more information on the industry classifications used in this release, see the Glossary

    Employment size

    The latest weeks of payroll jobs by employment size estimates see higher than usual levels of revision (over a longer period) for businesses with under 20 employees, which have a greater pattern of delayed or less frequent reporting. Further information is presented in Variation in revisions in Data limitations and revisions.

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    Table 6 - Percentage change in payroll jobs by employment size (a)
    Change between 17 Jul 2021 and 31 Jul 2021 (b)Change between 14 Mar 2020 and 31 Jul 2021 (c)
    Under 20 employees-4.0%0.5%
    20-199 employees-2.2%1.8%
    200 employees and over-0.8%0.2%
    All businesses2.0%1.0%
    1. Records with 'unknown' employment size are only included in the calculation of All businesses indexes. For more information, see Data components, totals and index calculation in Data limitations and revisions
    2. Care should be exercised when focusing on the most recent movements in payroll jobs. For more information, see Data limitations and revisions
    3. Caution should be used when comparing change across the ABS Business Register snapshot transition point (week ending 29 August 2020). For more information, see Update of employer characteristics in Methods review
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    1. Care should be exercised when focusing on the most recent movements in payroll jobs. For more information, see Data limitations and revisions
    2. The ABS Business Register snapshot transition point is in the week ending 29 August 2020. Caution should be used when comparing change across this point. For more information, see Update of employer characteristics in Methods review

    Data downloads

    Table 4: Payroll jobs and wages indexes

    Table 5: Sub-state - Payroll jobs indexes

    These estimates are now updated in every release. 

    Table 5a: Greater Capital City Statistical Area (GCCSA) regions - Payroll jobs indexes

    New estimates available since 22 July 2021.

    Table 6: Industry subdivision - Payroll jobs indexes

    These estimates are now updated in every release. 

    Table 7: Employer characteristics - Payroll jobs index

    Contains estimates of payroll jobs by employment size, including state and territory dimension. 

    Table 8: Jobholder characteristics - Payroll jobs index

    Contains estimates of payroll jobs by 5 year age groups. 

    All data cubes

    Changes in this release

    The following sections were updated in this release:

    • Employment size: Employment size graph reinstated
    • Upcoming changes to this release: Updated text

    The following section of the Methodology was updated in this release:

    • How data are collected: Text updates in Scope and coverage and Other data sources

    • How data are processed: New subsection - Updating characteristic variables. Text updates in Imputation. 

    • Methods review: Section removed, with some text incorporated into other sections

    Post-release changes

    27 August 2021: Employment size - Table 6 figures corrected.  The underlying data have not changed.

    Upcoming changes to this release

    Expansion of outputs

    Payroll job outputs will be expanded over 2021-22. The availability in specific releases is yet to be determined. Expected Data download templates are available on request at labour.statistics@abs.gov.au

    In alphabetical order, the planned outputs are: 

    • Employment size by industry division
    • Industry division by Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4)
    • Jobholder and employer characteristics distributions
    • Private sector by industry division
    • Private sector by state/territory
    • State by industry subdivision

    Existing content changes

    In the 9 September 2021 release, the following data download files will have modified structures:

    • Table 5a (GCCSA regions) added to Table 5 (Sub-state) as a separate tab
    • Table 7, additional characteristics column added (Industry)

    Percentage change tables content will also be modified as follows:

    • Separated tables presenting payroll jobs and total wages
    • Time periods of change will be presented for the latest fortnight, month and year. Tables will not directly reference the percentage change from the index base (week ending 14 March 2020), but can be calculated from source data in Table 4 of the Data downloads.

    Previous articles

    Previously published articles and information of interest are linked below:

    Previous catalogue number

    This release previously used catalogue number 6160.0.55.001.