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
August 2020
Released
1/10/2020
Future releases
  • Job Vacancies, Australia
    Next Release 13/01/2021
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    Next Release 1/04/2021
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    Next Release 1/07/2021
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Key statistics

Seasonally adjusted estimates

  • Total job vacancies in August 2020 were 206,000, an increase of 59.4% from May 2020.
  • In the private sector vacancies were 184,100 in August 2020, an increase of 65.4% from May 2020.
  • In the public sector vacancies were 21,900 in August 2020, an increase of 22.0% from May 2020.
Aug 2020 ('000)May 2020 to August 2020 (% change)August 2019 to August 2020 (% change)
Private sector184.165.4-8.2
Public sector21.922.0-7.2
Private and public sectors206.059.4-8.1
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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 August

Responses for the Job Vacancies Survey August 2020 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 59.4% (76,800 vacancies) in the three months to August 2020 (seasonally adjusted).  This follows the largest fall in job vacancies in the history of the series, a reflection of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated restrictions on people and businesses.

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All states and territories recorded increases in job vacancies in August 2020 compared with May 2020. The two biggest states, New South Wales and Victoria, were still well below the pre pandemic levels of vacancies in February 2020, as was the Australian Capital Territory. However, vacancies in many states surged in the August 2020 quarter to higher levels than those seen in February 2020, as restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 were progressively eased in parts of the economy.

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The chart below shows the annual percentage change in job vacancies by industry. Services industries that were exposed to social distancing restrictions continued to show lower levels of vacancies, compared with pre-COVID conditions. Arts and recreation services continued to be particularly low, reflecting the closures of venues such as casinos, theatres, fitness centres, sporting grounds and zoos, and cancellations of a range of public events due to social distancing requirements.  

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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 recovery in August 2020. In May 2020, a much lower proportion of businesses reported having at least one vacancy (6.5%) compared with May 2019 (11.9%). In August 2020, this had increased to 12.1% of businesses compared with 14.0% in the previous August.

Proportion of businesses reporting vacancies - industry
Aug 2020May 2020Aug 2019
Mining16.1%8.3%11.0%
Manufacturing14.0%4.4%11.1%
Electricity, gas, water and waste services21.9%11.8%11.6%
Construction12.0%4.6%14.0%
Wholesale trade14.0%14.1%14.7%
Retail trade9.9%9.7%16.8%
Accommodation and food services13.9%2.3%16.1%
Transport, postal and warehousing10.7%4.1%2.1%
Information media and telecommunications5.2%7.0%5.6%
Financial and insurance services6.6%5.0%12.8%
Rental, hiring and real estate services11.8%4.1%10.2%
Professional, scientific and technical services14.8%9.2%11.4%
Administrative and support services16.2%7.8%31.6%
Public administration and safety27.9%22.6%31.5%
Education and training10.8%4.0%11.0%
Health care and social assistance8.9%6.5%13.6%
Arts and recreation services2.1%0.5%5.4%
Other services11.1%5.6%16.1%
All Industries12.1%6.5%14.0%
Proportion of businesses reporting vacancies - states and territories
Aug 2020May 2020Aug 2019
New South Wales11.6%5.8%15.1%
Victoria11.5%6.0%13.8%
Queensland13.7%10.5%13.7%
South Australia8.8%2.9%11.2%
Western Australia15.6%5.5%11.7%
Tasmania10.7%4.5%14.7%
Northern Territory20.7%6.7%23.7%
Australian Capital Territory4.7%3.5%10.4%
Australia12.1%6.5%14.0%

1. Job vacancies, states and territories

Job vacancies ('000), states and territories
NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACTAustraliaAustralia (Seasonally Adjusted)Australia (Trend)
May-1977.260.133.211.223.23.34.26.7219.1228.0nca
Aug-1972.861.239.111.326.43.64.37.6226.3224.0nca
Nov-1980.260.139.211.425.73.63.57.7231.4227.1nca
Feb-2079.359.738.411.727.63.42.96.6229.5227.3nca
May-2039.828.725.26.816.81.91.73.6124.5129.2nca
Aug-2062.245.842.112.532.23.44.25.6208.0206.0nca
Change from previous quarter (%)
NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACTAustraliaAustralia (Seasonally Adjusted)Australia (Trend)
May-19-8.1-6.3-9.319.5-15.310.515.71.3-6.7-1.8nca
Aug-19-5.61.817.91.213.611.33.112.23.3-1.7nca
Nov-1910.1-1.70.20.4-2.6-0.7-19.52.02.21.4nca
Feb-20-1.1-0.8-2.02.77.3-5.7-17.8-13.8-0.80.1nca
May-20-49.9-51.9-34.3-41.6-39.1-45.7-39.7-46.2-45.8-43.1nca
Aug-2056.459.567.083.291.484.7146.357.267.159.4nca
Change from corresponding quarter of previous year (%)
NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACTAustraliaAustralia (Seasonally Adjusted)Australia (Trend)
Aug-186.121.6-0.929.141.220.5-1.216.913.613.8nca
Aug-19-8.5-7.612.8-3.52.120.320.612.5-2.2-2nca
Aug-20-14.6-25.27.810.221.9-6.1-1.8-25.6-8.1-8.1nca

All figures are original unless stated otherwise

nca not currently available due to break in series

2. Job vacancies, private sector, states and territories

Job vacancies ('000), private sector - states and territories
NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACTAustraliaAustralia (Seasonally Adjusted)Australia (Trend)
May-1969.654.630.19.621.72.7*3.64.8196.8205.8nca
Aug-1965.355.935.39.524.53.03.75.1202.3200.5nca
Nov-1972.254.935.59.523.52.93.05.3206.7202.7nca
Feb-2071.453.734.910.025.42.92.14.9205.1202.1nca
May-2033.424.322.95.215.4*1.61.32.5106.5111.3nca
Aug-2055.040.639.210.630.22.83.63.7185.7184.1nca
Change from previous quarter (%)
NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACTAustraliaAustralia (Seasonally Adjusted)Australia (Trend)
May-19-10.0-7.3-10.822.3-15.99.515.70.4-8.1-2.5nca
Aug-19-6.12.417.2-1.012.513.20.65.02.8-2.6nca
Nov-1910.4-1.80.5-0.5-3.9-3.3-18.43.42.21.1nca
Feb-20-1.1-2.2-1.85.67.9-0.6-31.1-6.2-0.7-0.3nca
May-20-53.2-54.8-34.3-48.1-39.2-46.6-39.0-48.8-48.1-44.9nca
Aug-2064.567.471.1104.795.782.0186.846.274.365.4nca
Change from corresponding quarter of previous year (%)
NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACTAustraliaAustralia (Seasonally Adjusted)Australia (Trend)
Aug-188.222.8-1.726.942.015.3-1.625.014.614.8nca
Aug-19-11.0-7.111.3-8.02.425.114.3-2.9-3.8-3.6nca
Aug-20-15.9-27.311.011.723.3-6.5-1.7-27.4-8.2-8.2nca

All figures are original unless stated otherwise.

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution

nca not currently available due to break in series

3. Job vacancies, public sector, states and territories

Job vacancies ('000), public sector - states and territories
NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACTAustraliaAustralia (Seasonally Adjusted)Australia (Trend)
May-197.65.53.01.61.50.60.61.922.222.2nca
Aug-197.55.33.81.82.00.6*0.72.524.023.5nca
Nov-198.05.23.61.92.20.70.52.524.724.4nca
Feb-207.96.03.51.72.20.50.81.724.425.2nca
May-206.34.42.31.6*1.40.30.51.017.917.9nca
Aug-207.25.12.91.82.00.6*0.61.922.321.9nca
Change from previous quarter (%)
NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACTAustraliaAustralia (Seasonally Adjusted)Australia (Trend)
May-1913.84.99.15.2-6.015.415.63.97.94.4nca
Aug-19-1.2-4.324.214.630.22.219.730.68.05.9nca
Nov-197.3-0.8-2.95.114.012.6-25.4-0.82.73.5nca
Feb-20-1.014.4-3.6-12.10.3-27.763.0-30.0-1.23.3nca
May-20-20.2-26.1-34.3-2.7-37.1-40.8-41.5-38.8-26.5-28.9nca
Aug-2014.016.126.414.343.899.137.883.524.622.0nca
Change from corresponding quarter of previous year (%)
NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACTAustraliaAustralia (Seasonally Adjusted)Australia (Trend)
Aug-18-13.711.59.448.531.547.61.9-4.94.74.2nca
Aug-1920.9-12.129.230.6-1.50.773.667.214.714.4nca
Aug-20-3.4-2.6-22.32.63.5-3.9-2.1-22.1-7.1-7.2nca

All figures are original unless stated otherwise

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution

nca not currently available due to break in series

4. Job vacancies, industry

Job vacancies ('000), industry
May-19Aug-19Nov-19Feb-20May-20Aug-20
Mining5.66.46.26.54.35.6
Manufacturing11.511.610.912.27.013.5
Electricity, gas, water and waste services2.02.21.82.11.61.9
Construction15.714.916.616.68.315.9
Wholesale trade9.310.411.812.66.59.9
Retail trade19.022.124.818.911.418.5
Accommodation and food services14.014.514.514.7*5.013.5
Transport, postal and warehousing6.66.47.17.53.35.5
Information media and telecommunications2.52.73.33.42.02.4
Financial and insurance services11.412.111.011.97.812.3
Rental, hiring and real estate services3.84.12.73.2*1.0*3.6
Professional, scientific and technical services28.625.023.726.313.123.5
Administrative and support services30.734.234.531.217.524.2
Public administration and safety11.913.212.913.38.613.4
Education and training7.16.67.37.73.66.4
Health care and social assistance29.827.428.029.819.728.4
Arts and recreation services2.43.62.82.0**0.11.2
Other services7.29.011.49.4*3.68.3

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.