Job Vacancies, Australia

Latest release

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

Reference period
May 2023
  • Next Release 28/09/2023
    Job Vacancies, Australia, August 2023
  • Next Release 10/01/2024
    Job Vacancies, Australia, November 2023
  • Next Release 28/03/2024
    Job Vacancies, Australia, February 2024
  • View all releases

Key statistics

Seasonally adjusted estimates for May 2023:

  • Total job vacancies were 431,600, a decrease of 2.0% from February 2023.
  • Private sector vacancies were 384,600, a decrease of 2.3% from February 2023.
  • Public sector vacancies were 47,000, an increase of 0.3% from February 2023.
Job vacancies, public and private sector
 May-2023Quarterly ChangeAnnual Change
TrendPrivate sector385.0-2.6-4.5
Public sector47.20.413.8
Private and public sectors432.2-2.2-2.8
Seasonally AdjustedPrivate sector384.6-2.3-12.2
Public sector47.00.314.1
Private and public sectors431.6-2.0-10.0
OriginalPrivate sector367.7-7.3-12.4
Public sector47.13.114.1
Private and public sectors414.8-6.2-10.0

Survey impacts and changes

Reinstating trend estimates

Commencing with this issue, the ABS has reinstated Job Vacancies trend estimates (including for the entire COVID-19 period in the spreadsheets) and reverted to concurrent seasonal adjustment. However, the key figures and graphs in the Job Vacancies release will continue to focus on seasonally adjusted estimates. This will be reviewed for future releases. For further information, see Seasonal adjustment and trend estimates below.

Seasonal adjustment and trend estimates

The ABS suspended the publication of Job Vacancies trend estimates in May 2020, due to the large changes in the labour market during the COVID-19 period. 

As suggested in A Guide to Interpreting Time Series, trend estimates are generally a better guide to the substantive movements in the series and are considered the best indicator of the underlying behaviour in the labour market. Given this, following extensive analysis of the time series, the ABS has now reinstated Job Vacancies trend estimates and reverted back to using the concurrent seasonal adjustment method (rather than using forward factors).

The ABS has also included the trend during the COVID-19 period in the spreadsheets in this release. However, given the large point-to-point changes for May 2020 to August 2022, the ABS recommends caution when using trend estimates during this period.

The ABS will undertake another review of the Job Vacancies seasonal adjustment and trend estimates in the Annual Seasonal Reanalysis in 2023. As part of this process, there may be larger than usual revisions, particularly for the May 2020 to August 2022 cycles.

Other measures of labour demand

In addition to Job Vacancies, there are a number of non-ABS indicators 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-Indeed Australian Job Ads Index, the SEEK Employment Report, and Jobs and Skills Australia's Internet Vacancy Index. 

Measures of job vacancies and job advertisements will differ for a number of reasons:

  • Job vacancies includes jobs for which job advertisements are undertaken but also includes jobs where other recruitment approaches are exclusively used, such as word of mouth or social media. For example, jobs in the Accommodation and food services industry are more likely to be advertised on social media or in shop front signs. These jobs were one of the key drivers of the boom in job vacancies during the pandemic. 
  • Job vacancies is a count of every position advertised within a single notice, while some job advertisements may be used to fill multiple positions. 
  • Most job advertisement series collect the number of jobs advertised over a period of time, whereas job vacancies are measured on one particular day. The difference between these two measures could be exacerbated during a time of severe labour shortages. That is, if a job is vacant longer, there is more chance it will be vacant on the reference date, yet it would still only count for one job ad.

New approach for estimating the contribution of micro-employers

The ABS plans to introduce a model-based approach to account for the contribution of employers with less than 5 employees in job vacancies estimates, to reduce the quarterly response burden on these businesses. These employers are much less likely to have job vacancies, and analysis over the last five years has demonstrated that their contribution to estimates can be effectively modelled.

After implementing the model, the ABS plans to collect information from a full sample of micro-employers every eighth quarter, in order to review the performance of the model.

In the event of a major shock to the labour market (for example, a pandemic), a full sample would be run more frequently.

The ABS plans to implement the modelled approach later this year, along with additional methodological information.

Job vacancies over time

Job vacancies decreased by 2.0% (9,000 vacancies) in the three months to May 2023 (seasonally adjusted). The decline in job vacancies this quarter was driven by Accommodation and food services. Despite this being the fourth consecutive quarterly decrease, the level of job vacancies in May 2023 remained elevated. Job vacancies were 89.3% higher than they were in February 2020, prior to the start of the pandemic. The ongoing high level of vacancies reflected the continuing labour shortages in most industries.

The Job Vacancies Survey was suspended between August 2008 to August 2009 (inclusive). 

Businesses reporting vacancies

The number of businesses reporting at least one vacancy shows the extent of the acute reduction in labour demand in May 2020, as well as the subsequent change since then. In February 2020, just prior to the main effects of COVID-19, the proportion of businesses reporting at least one vacancy was 11.0%. In May 2020, a much lower proportion of businesses reported at least one vacancy (6.5%). By November 2022, this had increased to 27.7%. In line with the decrease in the number of vacancies, the proportion of businesses reporting at least one vacancy also decreased to 24.3% in February 2023 but increased slightly to 24.7% in May 2023.

Proportion of businesses reporting vacancies, states and territories (%)
New South Wales22.919.422.324.226.228.928.027.426.5
South Australia15.613.114.717.617.319.718.416.019.4
Western Australia21.721.519.522.428.325.229.421.623.1
Northern Territory26.520.823.127.831.636.535.626.423.4
Australian Capital Territory13.89.413.416.613.715.513.716.017.1
Proportion of businesses reporting vacancies, industry (%)
Electricity, gas, water and waste services12.89.921.339.234.513.
Wholesale trade23.622.320.529.516.826.119.923.422.9
Retail trade21.621.415.916.617.723.831.523.021.7
Accommodation and food services30.518.330.932.434.042.545.341.735.5
Transport, postal and warehousing22.015.717.322.422.625.821.516.621.3
Information media and telecommunications20.015.915.519.826.720.429.021.421.3
Financial and insurance services20.510.35.514.820.
Rental, hiring and real estate services16.919.315.
Professional, scientific and technical services16.415.416.617.618.019.424.819.622.2
Administrative and support services23.629.830.536.238.332.836.826.734.0
Public administration and safety42.229.827.533.537.937.435.043.332.0
Education and training11.
Health care and social assistance23.321.226.718.926.733.417.530.829.5
Arts and recreation services14.
Other services22.828.125.432.732.734.436.725.331.1
All industries22.020.320.723.525.226.727.724.324.7
Reasons for vacancies (%)
Increased workload45.442.345.947.847.045.444.044.039.7
Expansion of business26.825.325.725.927.827.825.626.726.4
Special event2.

Businesses may have multiple reasons for reporting job vacancies
Proportions are of businesses that reported at least one vacancy

States and territories

Change in job vacancies, states and territories (%)
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia (Seasonally adjusted)Australia (Trend)
Change from previous quarter
Change from corresponding quarter of previous year

Data refers to original series unless otherwise stated

Private sector

Change in job vacancies, private sector (%)
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia (Seasonally adjusted)Australia (Trend)
Change from previous quarter
Change from corresponding quarter of previous year

Data refers to original series unless otherwise stated

Public sector

Change in job vacancies, public sector (%)
 NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAustraliaAustralia (Seasonally adjusted)Australia (Trend)
Change from previous quarter
Change from corresponding quarter of previous year

Data refers to original series unless otherwise stated


Job vacancies, industry, original ('000)
Electricity, gas, water and waste services4.
Wholesale trade21.719.220.516.616.515.3
Retail trade29.140.346.149.936.432.2
Accommodation and food services46.151.959.156.357.842.5
Transport, postal and warehousing14.715.217.715.414.613.4
Information media and telecommunications4.
Financial and insurance services18.120.218.616.814.913.4
Rental, hiring and real estate services9.39.710.
Professional, scientific and technical services42.142.944.140.847.644.7
Administrative and support services40.638.238.041.338.437.5
Public administration and safety21.524.127.530.126.422.9
Education and training11.612.711.211.113.515.9
Health care and social assistance60.268.974.362.772.472.9
Arts and recreation services6.
Other services20.721.118.818.016.516.1

Data Downloads

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6354.0.

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