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
May 2021
Released
1/07/2021
Future releases
  • Next Release 30/09/2021
    Job Vacancies, Australia, August 2021
  • Next Release 12/01/2022
    Job Vacancies, Australia, November 2021
  • Next Release 31/03/2022
    Job Vacancies, Australia, February 2022
  • View all releases

Key statistics

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

  • Total job vacancies were 362,500 an increase of 23.4% from February 2021.
  • Private sector vacancies were 331,900, an increase of 24.8% from February 2021.
  • Public sector vacancies were 30,600, an increase of 10.0% from February 2021.
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 May 2021 ('000)Feb 2021 to May 2021 (% change)May 2020 to May 2021 (% change)
Private sector331.924.8203.0
Public sector30.610.069.7
Private and public sectors362.523.4184.1
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Survey Impacts

Seasonal adjustment and trend estimates

In the May 2020 Job vacancies release, the ABS advised that the method used to produce seasonally adjusted estimates would be changed from the ‘concurrent’ method to the ‘forward factors’ method, during the COVID-19 period. The forward factors approach is better suited to managing large movements at the end point of series and ensures that large movements do not have a disproportionate influence on the seasonal factors.

Given the large movements in the labour market during the COVID-19 period and the continuing use of a forward factors approach to seasonal adjustment, the ABS undertook an extensive annual review of its seasonally adjusted job vacancies series, prior to the release of May 2021 estimates. Static forward factors for the next 12 months have been calculated through this annual process and were used in the May 2021 release.

For further information on seasonal adjustment during a period of uncertainty please see: Seasonal adjustment throughout periods of significant disruption and uncertainty | Australian Bureau of Statistics (abs.gov.au).

Survey responses remain high in May

Responses for the Job Vacancies Survey May 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 challenging 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. 

Additional COVID-19 period analysis of job vacancies

Job vacancies increased by 23.4% (68,800 vacancies) in the three months to May 2021 (seasonally adjusted). The historically high level of vacancies reflects the pace of recovery in labour demand from the fall in May 2020, as well as the increasing number of industries indicating labour shortages, particularly for lower paid jobs. There were 57.4% more vacancies in May 2021 than in February 2020, prior to the start of the pandemic.

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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 May 2021 with growth in all states and territories. The chart below shows the percentage change in job vacancies since February 2020, which was greatest in Tasmania (89.9%), South Australia (82.9%) and Northern Territory (76.5%).

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The chart below shows the percentage change in job vacancies in industries since February 2020. Vacancies were higher than pre-pandemic levels in all industries, and particularly elevated in those reporting labour shortages.

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While not a regular output from the survey, the number of businesses reporting at least one vacancy also shows the extent of the acute reduction in labour demand in May 2020, as well as the subsequent change . In May 2020, a much lower proportion of businesses reported at least one vacancy (6.5%). By May 2021, this had increased to 22.0% of businesses, which was double February 2020 (11.0%). 

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Proportion of businesses reporting vacancies - industry
Feb-20May-20Feb-21May-21
Mining20.9%8.3%21.1%11.0%
Manufacturing8.0%4.4%15.3%15.1%
Electricity, gas, water and waste services10.2%11.8%13.9%12.8%
Construction13.6%4.6%22.8%26.9%
Wholesale trade14.6%14.1%15.2%23.6%
Retail trade13.3%9.7%16.4%21.6%
Accommodation and food services14.5%2.3%30.5%30.5%
Transport, postal and warehousing5.3%4.1%20.2%22.0%
Information media and telecommunications14.0%7.0%18.3%20.0%
Financial and insurance services4.5%5.0%16.9%20.5%
Rental, hiring and real estate services6.9%4.1%11.1%16.9%
Professional, scientific and technical services9.4%9.2%14.5%16.4%
Administrative and support services16.5%7.8%17.1%23.6%
Public administration and safety31.3%22.6%30.0%42.2%
Education and training7.5%4.0%8.6%11.5%
Health care and social assistance8.2%6.5%13.4%23.3%
Arts and recreation services3.4%0.5%3.1%14.0%
Other services10.6%5.6%21.1%22.8%
All industries11.0%6.5%18.1%22.0%
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Proportion of businesses reporting vacancies - states and territories
Feb-20May-20Feb-21May-21
New South Wales12.1%5.8%19.6%22.9%
Victoria11.2%6.0%18.0%22.0%
Queensland10.4%10.5%17.4%22.6%
South Australia8.1%2.9%15.7%15.6%
Western Australia10.2%5.5%16.3%21.7%
Tasmania8.3%4.5%17.8%21.8%
Northern Territory9.2%6.7%21.8%26.5%
Australian Capital Territory9.4%3.5%12.1%13.8%
Australia11.0%6.5%18.1%22.0%

States and territories

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Job vacancies ('000), states and territories
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia
(Seasonally
Adjusted)
Feb-2079.359.738.411.727.63.42.96.6229.5230.3
May-2039.828.725.26.816.81.91.73.6124.5127.6
Aug-2062.245.842.112.532.23.44.25.6208.0203.6
Nov-2082.758.447.915.637.45.14.27.9259.2257.3
Feb-2194.065.653.519.340.05.74.88.2291.0293.7
May-21112.887.667.221.346.26.55.08.8355.4362.5
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Change from previous quarter (%)
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia
(Seasonally
Adjusted)
Feb-20-1.1-0.8-2.02.77.3-5.7-17.8-13.8-0.80.6
May-20-49.9-51.9-34.3-41.6-39.1-45.7-39.7-46.2-45.8-44.6
Aug-2056.459.567.083.291.484.7146.357.267.159.6
Nov-2032.927.613.724.616.250.40.140.424.626.4
Feb-2113.612.411.824.26.810.213.13.512.314.1
May-2120.033.425.610.415.614.45.17.222.123.4
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Change from corresponding quarter of previous year (%)
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia
(Seasonally
Adjusted)
May-193.7-2.23.6-0.93.732.710.51.72.21.5
May-20-48.5-52.3-23.9-39.1-27.7-43.4-58.9-46.9-43.2-43.7
May-21183.5205.1166.5213.3174.7250.0192.9144.9185.5184.1

Private sector, states and territories

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Job vacancies ('000), private sector - states and territories
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia
(Seasonally
Adjusted)
Feb-2071.453.734.910.025.42.92.14.9205.1205.6
May-2033.424.322.95.215.4*1.61.32.5106.5109.6
Aug-2055.040.639.210.630.22.83.63.7185.7181.4
Nov-2074.452.844.013.335.04.43.56.0233.3231.8
Feb-2185.959.549.117.336.85.13.86.0263.5265.9
May-21102.780.962.818.743.35.94.16.7325.0331.9
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Change from previous quarter (%)
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia
(Seasonally
Adjusted)
Feb-20-1.1-2.2-1.85.67.9-0.6-31.1-6.2-0.70.6
May-20-53.2-54.8-34.3-48.1-39.2-46.6-39.0-48.8-48.1-46.7
Aug-2064.567.471.1104.795.782.0186.846.274.365.6
Nov-2035.430.012.125.216.153.2-2.962.125.627.7
Feb-2115.412.611.730.25.017.88.70.712.914.7
May-2119.536.127.88.117.714.69.110.523.324.8
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Change from corresponding quarter of previous year (%)
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia
(Seasonally
Adjusted)
May-192.1-2.74.3-3.25.742.811.7-3.41.50.8
May-20-52.0-55.5-23.9-46.0-29.1-41.8-65.5-47.8-45.9-46.3
May-21207.1233.4174.0260.8180.7276.4230.3163.6205.0203.0

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

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Job vacancies ('000), public sector - states and territories
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia
(Seasonally
Adjusted)
Feb-207.96.03.51.72.20.50.81.724.424.7
May-206.34.42.31.6*1.40.30.51.017.918.0
Aug-207.25.12.91.82.00.6*0.61.922.322.2
Nov-208.25.63.92.22.40.8*0.81.925.825.5
Feb-218.16.24.42.03.20.5*1.02.127.527.8
May-2110.16.74.42.62.90.60.92.130.430.6
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Change from previous quarter (%)
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia
(Seasonally
Adjusted)
Feb-20-1.014.4-3.6-12.10.3-27.763.0-30.0-1.21.2
May-20-20.2-26.1-34.3-2.7-37.1-40.8-41.5-38.8-26.5-27.0
Aug-2014.016.126.414.343.899.137.883.524.623.0
Nov-2013.98.534.721.217.936.316.7-1.215.715.2
Feb-21-2.110.712.1-11.533.4-31.733.412.56.58.9
May-2125.47.80.831.3-7.611.9-10.1-1.910.410.0
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Change from corresponding quarter of previous year (%)
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia
(Seasonally
Adjusted)
May-1922.13.1-2.716.3-18.70.33.117.77.98.0
May-20-16.3-19.8-23.72.9-6.4-50.7-14.9-44.5-19.4-19.3
May-2159.350.492.460.9109.1107.792.8100.069.569.7

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

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Job vacancies ('000), industry
 Feb-20May-20Aug-20Nov-20Feb-21May-21
Mining6.54.35.66.37.58.3
Manufacturing12.27.013.515.316.620.7
Electricity, gas, water and waste services2.11.61.92.22.73.0
Construction16.68.315.917.926.729.9
Wholesale trade12.66.59.913.414.017.8
Retail trade18.911.418.525.724.934.3
Accommodation and food services14.75.013.522.427.638.2
Transport, postal and warehousing7.53.35.56.69.310.6
Information media and telecommunications3.42.02.42.73.83.7
Financial and insurance services11.97.812.312.814.717.9
Rental, hiring and real estate services3.21.0*3.64.44.67.8
Professional, scientific and technical services26.313.123.527.031.231.9
Administrative and support services31.217.524.226.828.635.2
Public administration and safety13.38.613.416.715.017.2
Education and training7.73.66.46.78.510.5
Health care and social assistance29.819.728.437.739.147.7
Arts and recreation services2.00.11.24.02.65.4
Other services9.43.68.310.613.615.4

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

Downloads

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6354.0.