Latest release

Labour Account Australia

The Australian Labour Account provides quarterly and annual time series for four quadrants: Jobs, People, Hours and Payments

Reference period
June 2021

Key statistics

In seasonally adjusted terms for the June quarter 2021:

  • Total jobs increased 262,200 (1.8%).
  • Filled jobs increased 167,300 (1.2%) to 14.4 million.
  • Multiple job holders increased 5.7%.
  • Secondary jobs increased 15,100 (1.4%).
  • Hours worked increased 1.8%.
  • Employed people increased 0.7% to 13.3 million.
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 Seasonally Adjusted
Mar qtr 2021 to Jun qtr 2021
% change

Jun qtr 2020 to Jun qtr 2021
% change

Total Jobs 1.87.4
Filled Jobs1.25.6
Main Jobs1.23.9
Secondary Jobs1.432.6
Job Vacancies33.4189.0
Hours Actually Worked1.810.2
Average Hours Actually Worked Per Job0.64.3
Average Income Per Employed Person0.61.4

Data impacts and changes

Improving the estimation of short-term non-residents in the Labour Account

Over the COVID period, there have been large reductions in short-term non-resident arrivals in Australia. These reductions are not reflected in Labour Force Survey employment estimates but are accounted for in Labour Account estimates of employment and jobs. Information on the different scope of these statistics was included in the June issue of Labour Force, Australia.

Modelling employed short-term non-residents in the Labour Account

As noted in the March quarter Labour Account release, a model-based approach is needed to estimate the number of short-term/temporary non-residents who are employed (including the jobs they held, and the hours they worked) as there are no direct sources for this information.

Improvements to the model and revisions in the September quarter release

The ABS has reviewed the modelling approach used in the Labour Account and has identified some improved data sources and method enhancements. These will provide a more robust estimation of the number of short-term non-residents who are working, and the hours they worked.

The new model will be implemented into the Labour Account for the September quarter 2021, with revisions to quarterly and annual Labour Account series across all quadrants (i.e. People, Jobs, Hours and Payments).

These revisions will result in a reduction of the number (and hours worked) of employed short-term non-residents in the Labour Account.

An indication of the magnitude of the reduction will be provided in the October issue of Labour Force, Australia, to be released on 11 November 2021, with the revised estimates to be published in the September quarter issue of Labour Account Australia, on 8 December 2021.

Continued suspension of public and private sector estimates

Public and private sector estimates were temporarily suspended in the March quarter 2021 release, following large irregular impacts on the labour market due to COVID-19. The ABS is continuing to assess the changes in sector estimates through the COVID period, with a view to re-instating them.

Enhancements to the methods and data sources used to produce sector estimates are also being explored. 

Review of seasonally adjusted series

From the June quarter 2020, the method used to produce seasonally adjusted estimates was changed from 'concurrent adjustment' to the ‘forward factor’ method for the majority of series. Forward factors are better suited to managing large irregular movements at the current end of a series and they ensure that those movements do not have a disproportionate influence on seasonal factors.

Given the use of forward factors for the past four quarters, the ABS undertook an extensive review of seasonally adjusted Labour Account series to correct for non-seasonal impacts of COVID-19. As well as revisions to seasonally adjusted series, the review also resulted in the calculation of new forward factors for use over the next four quarters, taking effect from the June quarter 2021 release.

A second review of seasonally adjusted Labour Account series will be undertaken as part of the historical revisions in the September quarter 2021 release.

Trend series will continue to be suspended.

Revisions this quarter and upcoming revisions

Data in the four quadrants of the Labour Account, have been revised from the previously published estimates. This reflects the revisions resulting from the review of seasonal factors, and revisions to source data, including the Labour Force Survey, Overseas Arrivals and Departures and the quarterly Australian National Accounts.

Revisions to published estimates can be found in Table 22 of this release.

Australian System of National Accounts historical revisions (September quarter)

Statistical revisions are carried out regularly in the Australian System of National Accounts to reflect the most current information and estimation methods. Periodically the ABS will revise a longer annual time series, which is often referred to as “historical revisions".  These longer time series revisions focus on improving data quality (e.g. incorporating cyclical data collections such as the Census); adopting new classifications; and improving international comparability. The next major historical revisions to National Accounts are scheduled to be published in the Australian System of National Accounts on 29 October 2021.

These historical revisions will result in revisions to the Labour Account for September quarter 2021.

Revisions to hours worked (September quarter)

A review of the method used to compile the Labour Account hours worked series identified a range of methodological and process improvements for the compilation of the Jobs, People and Hours quadrants. The improvements, with resulting revisions will be implemented with the historical revisions for the September quarter 2021 release, on 8 December 2021. Information on the revisions to hours worked and Australian System of National Accounts historical revisions will also be included in that release.

New summary spreadsheet and changes to file naming conventions

New industry summary table

An additional spreadsheet has been added to the Data downloads section. The new “Industry summary table” brings together key series from each Labour Account quadrant, by industry, to enable easier comparison across industries. All series in the summary table are already contained in other time series spreadsheets, and use the same time series identifiers.

The ABS welcomes feedback on the usefulness of the new table, and the series included, by emailing labour.statistics@abs.gov.au.

Changes to the naming convention of the time series spreadsheets

The file naming convention for Labour Account time series spreadsheets will change with the September quarter 2021 release, on 8 December 2021. Users may need to update their automated processes for downloading.  A concordance table between the current and upcoming time series spreadsheet names is included in the data downloads section.

Jobs

In seasonally adjusted terms for the June quarter 2021:

  • Filled jobs increased by 1.2%, following a 0.4% rise in the March quarter 2021. Filled jobs grew 5.6% through the year.
  • The number of main jobs increased by 152,200 (or 1.2%).
  • The number of multiple job holders increased by 5.7%.
  • The proportion of vacant jobs increased to 2.6%, from the 2.0% recorded in the March quarter 2021.

Total jobs

In seasonally adjusted terms for the June quarter 2021, the total number of jobs increased by 262,200 (or 1.8%), made up of an increase of 94,900 job vacancies and an increase of 167,300 filled jobs.

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Filled jobs

In seasonally adjusted terms for the June quarter 2021, the number of filled jobs increased by 167,300 to 14.4 million. 

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Filled jobs, by industry, Jun qtr 2021, seasonally adjusted
Filled Jobs ('000)Proportion of all Industries (%)
Agriculture, forestry and fishing (A)457.93.2
Mining (B)181.21.3
Manufacturing (C)907.96.3
Electricity, gas, water and waste services (D)126.80.9
Construction (E)1,186.88.2
Wholesale trade (F)604.54.2
Retail trade (G)1,433.610.0
Accommodation and food services (H)1,095.47.6
Transport, postal and warehousing (I)637.44.4
Information media and telecommunications (J)173.51.2
Financial and insurance services (K)495.23.4
Rental, hiring and real estate services (L)292.62.0
Professional, scientific and technical services (M)1,270.48.8
Administrative and support services (N)964.66.7
Public administration and safety (O)743.65.2
Education and training (P)1,015.97.1
Health care and social assistance (Q)2,046.114.2
Arts and recreation services (R)212.11.5
Other services (S)541.83.8
Total All Industries14,387.5100.0
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Change in filled jobs, by industry, Jun qtr 2021, seasonally adjusted
Quarterly change (%)Annual change (%)
Agriculture, forestry and fishing (A)-0.4-3.0
Mining (B)0.70.3
Manufacturing (C)0.32.1
Electricity, gas, water and waste services (D)2.15.1
Construction (E)2.74.7
Wholesale trade (F)1.39.1
Retail trade (G)5.33.6
Accommodation and food services (H)1.917.2
Transport, postal and warehousing (I)0.26.3
Information media and telecommunications (J)-1.74.1
Financial and insurance services (K)2.40.1
Rental, hiring and real estate services (L)3.52.6
Professional, scientific and technical services (M)0.04.8
Administrative and support services (N)0.814.5
Public administration and safety (O)0.4-1.5
Education and training (P)0.8-1.5
Health care and social assistance (Q)-1.87.6
Arts and recreation services (R)5.123.2
Other services (S)3.710.0
Total All Industries1.25.6

Secondary jobs

Secondary jobs are where a person is working more than one job at the same time, and may consist of one or more additional jobs. These jobs can be held by people who have their main job in the same or a different industry. 

In seasonally adjusted terms for the June quarter 2021:

  • Secondary jobs increased by 15,100 (or 1.4%). 
  • The proportion of secondary jobs to filled jobs was 7.5% for both the March quarter 2021 and June quarter 2021.

The three industries with the highest number of secondary jobs were Administrative and support services, Health care and social assistance and Education and training.
 

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Statistical discrepancy - Filled jobs

The Labour Account compiles independent estimates of the number of filled jobs from both a household and business perspective. The difference between these two estimates is referred to as the "statistical discrepancy". This discrepancy is reduced to zero through the balancing processes of the Labour Account, through producing a single harmonised or "balanced" number of filled jobs for each industry and the total economy.

In original terms the discrepancy between household sources and business sources was 873,600 jobs, or 6.1% of the household estimate, in the June quarter 2021.

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Balancing decisions for Rental, hiring and real estate services and Other services were mostly based on household survey sources. All other industries were mostly based on business survey sources.

People

In seasonally adjusted terms for the June quarter 2021:

  • The total number of employed people increased by 0.7% to 13.3 million. 
  • There were 674,300 unemployed people, a decrease of 111,100 people from March quarter 2021.
  • There were 1,015,100 underemployed people, a decrease of 158,500 people from March quarter 2021.
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The Labour Account produces the number of people employed from an industry perspective. As a result, the sum of employed people for each industry division does not equal the total number of people employed in the whole economy, given some people are employed in multiple industries.

The three industries with the highest number of employed people in the June quarter 2021 were Health care and social assistance, Retail trade and Professional, scientific and technical services.

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Hours

In seasonally adjusted terms for the June quarter 2021, the total number of hours actually worked increased by 94.2 million hours (or 1.8%) to 5.4 billion hours.

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The three industries with the highest number of hours actually worked in the June quarter 2021 were Health care and social assistance, Professional, scientific and technical services and Construction.

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Average hours worked per job is the hours actually worked divided by all filled jobs.

In seasonally adjusted terms for the June quarter 2021, average hours worked per job increased by 0.6% to 375 hours. 

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Payments

The Labour Account Payments quadrant presents the costs incurred by enterprises in employing labour, and the income received by people from its provision. Total income consists of compensation of employees and labour income from self-employment. The addition of other related costs to employers to total income will derive total labour costs.

In seasonally adjusted terms for the June quarter 2021:

  • Total labour income increased by $3,606 million (or 1.3%) to $275,287 million. 
  • The average labour income per employed person increased by 0.6% to $20,704.
  • Total compensation of employees increased by 1.8% to $251,044 million.
  • Labour income from self-employment decreased by 2.9% to $24,243 million.
  • Total labour costs increased by $11,755 million (4.1%) to $295,373 million. 

The three industries with the highest total labour income in the June quarter 2021 were Health care and social assistance, Professional, scientific and technical services and Construction.

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Data downloads

Labour Account Australia, Upcoming changes to spreadsheet names

Provides a concordance table between the current and upcoming time series spreadsheet file names.

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6150.0.55.003.