Job Vacancies, Australia

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

Reference period
November 2021

Key statistics

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

  • Total job vacancies were 396,100, an increase of 18.5% from August 2021.
  • Private sector vacancies were 361,700, an increase of 19.4% from August 2021.
  • Public sector vacancies were 34,300, an increase of 9.7% from August 2021.
Job vacancies, public and private sector
 Nov-21Quarterly ChangeAnnual Change
Private sector361.719.458.5
Public sector34.39.734.5
Private and public sectors396.118.556.1

Survey impacts

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.

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 the job vacancies May 2021 estimates. Static forward factors for the next 12 months were calculated through this annual process and were used from 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 (

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 November

Responses for the Job Vacancies Survey November 2021 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 18.5% (61,900 vacancies) in the three months to November 2021 (seasonally adjusted). The rise in job vacancies reflects the easing of lockdowns that were in effect in August.

The level of job vacancies in November 2021 was 74.2% 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 a number of industries indicating labour shortages, particularly for lower paid jobs. 

The Job Vacancy 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 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. In November 2021, this number was slightly lower (20.9%) but remained considerably higher than February 2020 (11.0%), which was prior to the impact of COVID-19. 

Proportion of businesses reporting vacancies, states and territories
New South Wales12.15.811.615.119.622.919.422.3
South Australia8.
Western Australia10.25.515.616.716.321.721.519.5
Northern Territory9.26.720.72121.826.520.823.1
Australian Capital Territory9.43.54.717.312.113.89.413.4
Proportion of businesses reporting vacancies, industry
Electricity, gas, water and waste services10.211.821.918.513.912.89.921.3
Wholesale trade14.614.11417.815.223.622.320.5
Retail trade13.39.79.917.816.421.621.415.9
Accommodation and food services14.52.313.916.930.530.518.330.9
Transport, postal and warehousing5.
Information media and telecommunications1475.21418.32015.915.5
Financial and insurance services4.556.615.716.920.510.35.5
Rental, hiring and real estate services6.94.111.812.811.116.919.315.1
Professional, scientific and technical services9.49.214.814.214.516.415.416.6
Administrative and support services16.57.816.218.917.123.629.830.5
Public administration and safety31.322.627.935.43042.229.827.5
Education and training7.5410.85.28.611.59.79.1
Health care and social assistance8.26.58.913.613.423.321.226.7
Arts and recreation services3.40.52.1213.1149.36.7
Other services10.65.611.116.721.122.828.125.4
All industries116.512.114.718.12220.320.7
Reasons for vacancies
Increased workload35.932.036.741.344.545.442.345.9
Expansion of business25.415.719.921.225.426.825.325.7
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
(Seasonally adjusted)
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
Electricity, gas, water and waste services1.92.22.7333.5
Wholesale trade9.913.41417.814.416.7
Retail trade18.525.724.934.333.636
Accommodation and food services13.522.427.638.227.645.8
Transport, postal and warehousing5.56.69.310.611.513.3
Information media and telecommunications2.
Financial and insurance services12.312.814.717.915.817
Rental, hiring and real estate services*
Professional, scientific and technical services23.52731.231.931.737.1
Administrative and support services24.226.828.635.236.839.9
Public administration and safety13.416.71517.217.518.9
Education and training6.46.78.510.59.810.2
Health care and social assistance28.437.739.147.751.260.2
Arts and recreation services1.
Other services8.310.613.615.41616.1

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

Data Downloads

Changes to Excel file format on the ABS website

In line with updating to more recent technology formats, the ABS will progressively transition to releasing Excel files in the .XLSX format. This means that timeseries spreadsheets in the suite of labour statistics releases will be progressively upgraded from .XLS files to .XLSX files.

While this change will improve usability, it may also require changes to automated macros or similar programs that users may have in place that call on the current file extension format.

For Job Vacancies, this change will take effect from the release of November data on 12 January 2022. Previously released data will not change.

Changes will be reflected in other labour statistics from the following dates:

  • Labour Force, released on 16 December 2021
  • Employee Earnings and Hours, to be released on 19 January 2022
  • Average Weekly Earnings, to be released on 24 February 2022
  • Labour Account, to be released on 9 March 2022
  • Industrial Disputes, to be released on 10 March 2022

Some labour statistics, such as Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia, already publish Excel data in .XLSX format. No changes will be required for those releases.

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.

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