Latest release

Job Vacancies, Australia

Results of the quarterly Job Vacancies Survey containing estimates of job vacancies classified by industry, sector and state/territory.

Reference period
February 2021
Released
1/04/2021
Future releases
  • Next Release 1/07/2021
    Job Vacancies, Australia, May 2021
  • Next Release 30/09/2021
    Job Vacancies, Australia, August 2021
  • Next Release 12/01/2022
    Job Vacancies, Australia, November 2021
  • View all releases

Key statistics

The seasonally adjusted estimates for the February 2021 quarter are as follows:

  • Total job vacancies were 288,700, an increase of 13.7% from November 2020.
  • Private sector vacancies were 260,300, an increase of 14.0% from November 2020.
  • Public sector vacancies were 28,400, an increase of 11.1% from November 2020.
Feb 2021 ('000)Nov 2020 to Feb 2021 (% change)Feb 2020 to Feb 2021 (% change)
Private sector260.314.028.5
Public sector28.411.112.8
Private and public sectors288.713.726.8
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Survey Impacts

Continued suspension of trend estimates

Given the extent of change in the Job Vacancies time series, the ABS temporarily suspended trend series and moved to using forward factors for seasonal adjustment for a range of series, including some job vacancies estimates. For more information, please refer to: Spotlight: Job Vacancies Survey Methods During COVID-19.

Survey responses remain high in February

Responses for the Job Vacancies Survey February 2021 quarter remained high, with similar levels of responses to previous quarters. The ABS would like to thank the Australian business community for their continued support in responding to our surveys during such a difficult time, given how critically important this information is.

Comparing job vacancies with other measures of labour demand

In addition to Job Vacancies, there are a number of non-ABS measures that measure labour demand using alternative concepts, sources and methods. These are also widely used as leading indicators of employment. Prominent examples include the ANZ Job Advertisement Series, the SEEK Employment Report, and the Department of Education, Skills and Employment's Internet Vacancy Index. 

Measures of job vacancies and job advertisements will differ for a number of reasons. One of the key differences is that job vacancies includes jobs for which job advertisements are undertaken but also include jobs where other recruitment approaches are exclusively used, such as word of mouth or social media. According to the National Skills Commission's Survey of Employer's Recruitment Experience, 19 per cent of jobs are not advertised (i.e. recruitment is done through word of mouth alone or by considering people who approach the business). For further details on recruitment practices, please see the Survey of Employer's Recruitment Experiences 2019 Data Report.

Furthermore, job vacancies count every position advertised within a single notice, while some job advertisements may be used to fill multiple positions. 

COVID-19 impacts on job vacancies

Job vacancies increased by 13.7% (34,800 vacancies) in the three months to February 2021 (seasonally adjusted). The historically high level of vacancies reflects the pace of recovery in labour demand as well as labour shortages in some industries, particularly for lower paid jobs.

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Job Vacancy Survey was suspended between August 2008 and August 2009 (inclusive)

Increases in job vacancies were recorded across Australia in February 2021 and Victoria joined the other states and territories with vacancy levels now above the pre-pandemic levels of February 2020.

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The chart below shows the annual percentage change in job vacancies by industry. Vacancies in most industries surpassed the pre-pandemic levels of February, reflecting changes in COVID-19 restrictions and labour shortages in some industries.

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While not a regular output from the survey, a measure of the number of businesses reporting any vacancies also shows the extent of the acute reduction in labour demand in May 2020, as well as the subsequent recovery. In May 2020, a much lower proportion of businesses reported at least one vacancy (6.5%). By February 2021, this had increased to 18.1% of businesses compared with 11.0% in the previous February, prior to the main impact of the pandemic on the economy.

Proportion of businesses reporting vacancies - industry
Feb-21May-20Feb-20
Mining21.1%8.3%20.9%
Manufacturing15.3%4.4%8.0%
Electricity, gas, water and waste services13.9%11.8%10.2%
Construction22.8%4.6%13.6%
Wholesale trade15.2%14.1%14.6%
Retail trade16.4%9.7%13.3%
Accommodation and food services30.5%2.3%14.5%
Transport, postal and warehousing20.2%4.1%5.3%
Information media and telecommunications18.3%7.0%14.0%
Financial and insurance services16.9%5.0%4.5%
Rental, hiring and real estate services11.1%4.1%6.9%
Professional, scientific and technical services14.5%9.2%9.4%
Administrative and support services17.1%7.8%16.5%
Public administration and safety30.0%22.6%31.3%
Education and training8.6%4.0%7.5%
Health care and social assistance13.4%6.5%8.2%
Arts and recreation services3.1%0.5%3.4%
Other services21.1%5.6%10.6%
All Industries18.1%6.5%11.0%
Proportion of businesses reporting vacancies - states and territories
Feb-21May-20Feb-20
New South Wales19.6%5.8%12.1%
Victoria18.0%6.0%11.2%
Queensland17.4%10.5%10.4%
South Australia15.7%2.9%8.1%
Western Australia16.3%5.5%10.2%
Tasmania17.8%4.5%8.3%
Northern Territory21.8%6.7%9.2%
Australian Capital Territory12.1%3.5%9.4%
Australia18.1%6.5%11.0%

States and territories

Job vacancies ('000), states and territories
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia
(Seasonally
Adjusted)
Nov-1980.260.139.211.425.73.63.57.7231.4226.7
Feb-2079.359.738.411.727.63.42.96.6229.5227.7
May-2039.828.725.26.816.81.91.73.6124.5129.3
Aug-2062.245.842.112.532.23.44.25.6208.0205.9
Nov-2082.758.447.915.637.45.14.27.9259.2253.9
Feb-2194.065.653.519.340.05.74.88.2291.0288.7
Change from previous quarter (%)
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia
(Seasonally
Adjusted)
Nov-1910.1-1.70.20.4-2.6-0.7-19.52.02.21.2
Feb-20-1.1-0.8-2.02.77.3-5.7-17.8-13.8-0.80.5
May-20-49.9-51.9-34.3-41.6-39.1-45.7-39.7-46.2-45.8-43.2
Aug-2056.459.567.083.291.484.7146.357.267.159.2
Nov-2032.927.613.724.616.250.40.140.424.623.3
Feb-2113.612.411.824.26.810.213.13.512.313.7
Change from corresponding quarter of previous year (%)
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia
(Seasonally
Adjusted)
Feb-199.89.80.7-10.329.40.31.716.39.29.2
Feb-20-5.6-74.924.60.515.3-210.1-2.2-2.1
Feb-2118.51039.665.644.8666822.826.826.8

All figures are original unless stated otherwise
Trend figures are not currently available

Private sector, states and territories

Job vacancies ('000), private sector - states and territories
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia
(Seasonally
Adjusted)
Nov-1972.254.935.59.523.52.93.05.3206.7202.3
Feb-2071.453.734.910.025.42.92.14.9205.1202.6
May-2033.424.322.95.215.4*1.61.32.5106.5111.4
Aug-2055.040.639.210.630.22.83.63.7185.7184.0
Nov-2074.452.844.013.335.04.43.56.0233.3228.4
Feb-2185.959.549.117.336.85.13.86.0263.5260.3
Change from previous quarter (%)
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia
(Seasonally
Adjusted)
Nov-1910.4-1.80.5-0.5-3.9-3.3-18.43.42.21.0
Feb-20-1.1-2.2-1.85.67.9-0.6-31.1-6.2-0.70.1
May-20-53.2-54.8-34.3-48.1-39.2-46.6-39.0-48.8-48.1-45.0
Aug-2064.567.471.1104.795.782.0186.846.274.365.2
Nov-2035.430.012.125.216.153.2-2.962.125.624.1
Feb-2115.412.611.730.25.017.88.70.712.914.0
Change from corresponding quarter of previous year (%)
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia
(Seasonally
Adjusted)
Feb-1910.310.80.8-16.330.1-0.52.312.59.39.4
Feb-20-7.7-8.83.227.2-1.919.2-34.62.3-4.2-4.1
Feb-2120.410.841.073.445.075.484.522.128.528.5

All figures are original unless stated otherwise
Trend figures are not currently available
* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution

Public sector, states and territories

Job vacancies ('000), public sector - states and territories
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia
(Seasonally
Adjusted)
Nov-198.05.23.61.92.20.70.52.524.724.4
Feb-207.96.03.51.72.20.50.81.724.425.2
May-206.34.42.31.6*1.40.30.51.017.917.9
Aug-207.25.12.91.82.00.6*0.61.922.321.9
Nov-208.25.63.92.22.40.8*0.81.925.825.6
Feb-218.16.24.42.03.20.5*1.02.127.528.4
Change from previous quarter (%)
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia
(Seasonally
Adjusted)
Nov-197.3-0.8-2.95.114.012.6-25.4-0.82.73.5
Feb-20-1.014.4-3.6-12.10.3-27.763.0-30.0-1.23.3
May-20-20.2-26.1-34.3-2.7-37.1-40.8-41.5-38.8-26.5-28.9
Aug-2014.016.126.414.343.899.137.883.524.622.0
Nov-2013.98.534.721.217.936.316.7-1.215.716.9
Feb-21-2.110.712.1-11.533.4-31.733.412.56.511.1
Change from corresponding quarter of previous year (%)
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia
(Seasonally
Adjusted)
Feb-194.50.6-0.245.219.74.6-1.827.87.67.8
Feb-2019.513.926.811.339.9-3.968.3-5.818.318.2
Feb-211.43.025.419.242.39.925.424.812.812.8

All figures are original unless stated otherwise
Trend figures are not currently available
* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution

Industry

Job vacancies ('000), industry
 Nov-19Feb-20May-20Aug-20Nov-20Feb-21
Mining6.26.54.35.66.37.5
Manufacturing10.912.27.013.515.316.6
Electricity, gas, water and waste services1.82.11.61.92.22.7
Construction16.616.68.315.917.926.7
Wholesale trade11.812.66.59.913.414.0
Retail trade24.818.911.418.525.724.9
Accommodation and food services14.514.7*5.013.522.427.6
Transport, postal and warehousing7.17.53.35.56.69.3
Information media and telecommunications3.33.42.02.42.73.8
Financial and insurance services11.011.97.812.312.814.7
Rental, hiring and real estate services2.73.2*1.0*3.64.44.6
Professional, scientific and technical services23.726.313.123.527.031.2
Administrative and support services34.531.217.524.226.828.6
Public administration and safety12.913.38.613.416.715.0
Education and training7.37.73.66.46.78.5
Health care and social assistance28.029.819.728.437.739.1
Arts and recreation services2.82.0**0.11.24.02.6
Other services11.49.4*3.68.310.613.6

All figures are original
* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
** estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use

Downloads

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6354.0.