Job Vacancies, Australia

This is not the latest release View the latest release

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

Reference period
May 2022

Key statistics

Seasonally adjusted estimates for May 2022:

  • Total job vacancies were 480,100, an increase of 13.8% from February 2022.
  • Private sector vacancies were 439,100, an increase of 14.2% from February 2022.
  • Public sector vacancies were 41,000, an increase of 9.4% from February 2022.
Job vacancies, public and private sector, seasonally adjusted
 May-2022Quarterly ChangeAnnual Change
Private sector439.114.229.1
Public sector41.09.436.0
Private and public sectors480.113.829.7

Survey impacts and changes

Continuing use of forward factors for seasonal adjustment

In the May 2020 Job Vacancies release, the ABS changed the method used to produce seasonally adjusted estimates from the ‘concurrent’ method to the ‘forward factors’ method. 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. The forward factors approach is not considered suitable for series with a non-seasonal span, and the concurrent adjustment method continued to be used for these series.

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 has undertaken an ‘Extraordinary Annual Series Review’ of Job Vacancies series. This review follows similar reviews that are progressively being undertaken across the ABS economic statistics program. The Job Vacancies review identified a range of time series treatments to ensure the seasonal adjustment process continues to be less influenced by the large quarter-to-quarter movements over the past two years, and more informed by seasonality before the COVID period. Revisions to most seasonally adjusted series are therefore relatively minor, but larger than would be observed through the use of concurrent seasonal adjustment (which was used prior to the COVID period).

The ABS will continue to monitor the economic impacts from COVID-19 with a view to reverting to the concurrent method when there is no longer significant and prolonged disruption to key series. 

Suspension of trend estimates

Since May 2020, trend estimates have been suspended for all job vacancies series. The reinstatement of trend series will be reviewed in future cycles.

Survey response remains high in May

Responses for the Job Vacancies Survey May 2022 quarter remained high. 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.

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 Job Advertisement Series, the SEEK Employment Report, and the National Skills Commission'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 Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey, 22 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 Employers' Recruitment Insights.

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

Job vacancies over time

Job vacancies increased by 13.8% (58,200 vacancies) in the three months to May 2022 (seasonally adjusted). The estimates captured a point in time where many businesses were recovering from the effects of the Omicron wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The level of job vacancies in May 2022 was 111.1% higher than in February 2020, prior to the start of the pandemic. The ongoing high level of vacancies reflects the pace of recovery in labour demand from the fall in May 2020, as well as businesses across the economy indicating labour shortages and ongoing disruptions to operations.

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 May 2022, this had increased to 25.2%.

Proportion of businesses reporting vacancies, states and territories
New South Wales12.15.811.615.119.622.919.422.324.226.2
South Australia8.
Western Australia10.25.515.616.716.321.721.519.522.428.3
Northern Territory9.26.720.721.021.826.520.823.127.831.6
Australian Capital Territory9.43.54.717.312.113.89.413.416.613.7
Proportion of businesses reporting vacancies, industry
Electricity, gas, water and waste services10.211.821.918.513.912.89.921.339.234.5
Wholesale trade14.614.114.017.815.223.622.320.529.516.8
Retail trade13.39.79.917.816.421.621.415.916.617.7
Accommodation and food services14.52.313.916.930.530.518.330.932.434.0
Transport, postal and warehousing5.
Information media and telecommunications14.
Financial and insurance services4.55.06.615.716.920.510.35.514.820.0
Rental, hiring and real estate services6.94.111.812.811.116.919.315.120.125.2
Professional, scientific and technical services9.49.214.814.214.516.415.416.617.618
Administrative and support services16.57.816.218.917.123.629.830.536.238.3
Public administration and safety31.322.627.935.430.042.229.827.533.537.9
Education and training7.
Health care and social assistance8.26.58.913.613.423.321.226.718.926.7
Arts and recreation services3.
Other services10.65.611.116.721.122.828.125.432.732.7
All industries11.06.512.114.718.122.020.320.723.525.2
Reasons for vacancies
Increased workload35.932.036.741.344.545.442.345.947.847.0
Expansion of business25.415.719.921.225.426.825.325.725.927.8
Special event1.

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
Change from previous quarter
Change from corresponding quarter of previous year

Private sector

Change in job vacancies, private sector
Change from previous quarter
Change from corresponding quarter of previous year

Public sector

Change in job vacancies, public sector
Change from previous quarter
Change from corresponding quarter of previous year


Job vacancies ('000), industry, original
Electricity, gas, water and waste services2.
Wholesale trade14.017.814.416.721.719.2
Retail trade24.934.333.636.029.140.3
Accommodation and food services27.638.227.645.846.151.9
Transport, postal and warehousing9.310.611.513.314.715.2
Information media and telecommunications3.
Financial and insurance services14.717.915.817.018.120.2
Rental, hiring and real estate services4.
Professional, scientific and technical services31.231.931.737.142.142.9
Administrative and support services28.635.236.839.940.638.2
Public administration and safety15.017.217.518.921.524.1
Education and training8.510.59.810.211.612.7
Health care and social assistance39.147.751.
Arts and recreation services2.
Other services13.615.416.016.120.721.1

Data Downloads

Trend estimates suspension

Trend estimates have been suspended from May 2020 for all job vacancies series due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labour market.

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6354.0.

Back to top of the page