Latest release

Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia

Payroll jobs and wages estimates, sourced from Single Touch Payroll (STP) data

Reference period
Week ending 14 May 2022
Released
9/06/2022
  • Next Release 7/07/2022
    Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia, Week ending 11 June 2022
  • Next Release 11/08/2022
    Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia, Week ending 16 July 2022
  • Next Release 8/09/2022
    Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia, Week ending 13 August 2022
  • View all releases

Key statistics

Between the weeks ending 30 April and 14 May 2022:

  • Payroll jobs, up 0.1%
  • Total wages, down 1.8%

Factors affecting interpretation

These estimates are not seasonally adjusted. Seasonality can affect the interpretation of change in payroll jobs and wages, particularly between sub-annual periods. While annual comparisons can assist in understanding underlying change, they are less useful when events such as public holidays or pandemic lockdowns don't occur in the same week in both years. 

In addition, when comparing the change in payroll jobs and wages between any two periods, interpretation can be complicated by variations in their composition. Payroll job indexes are compiled from over 11 million jobs and variations in the types of jobs reported can result in compositional change (which is not quantified). For example, each payroll job in each week: 

  • is counted in the same way regardless of job status (full-time, part-time or casual), hence variations in demand for casual staff can influence week-on-week change.
  • represents an individual in every paid job reported via STP, hence jobholders working multiple jobs are counted more than once. While multiple jobholders account for less than 10% of all payroll jobs, they can increase the rate of change seen week-to-week (in some industries) in circumstances where they are unable to work in any of their jobs (e.g. due to illness) and are not paid when absent.

Wages can be more heavily influenced by week-to-week change in composition, as the wages index reflects movements in aggregate wages and salaries paid (unlike the ABS Wage Price Index which presents changes in the price of labour unaffected by compositional shifts in the labour force, hours worked or employee characteristics). Variability in wages indexes in this release in any given week may be due to:

  • changes in hours worked,
  • the inclusion of cyclical payments such as bonuses, commissions or lump sum payment of leave loading,
  • payment of penalty rates for public holidays (which may not fall on the same date each year), or
  • the inclusion of irregular payments such as overtime, ad hoc or one-off payments relating to employee recognition or enterprise agreement sign-on.

Compositional change can also differ at the industry or state and territory level, particularly when there are localised labour market issues.

Revisions

This release sees higher than usual revisions in February 2022, as the 16 week imputation retention threshold passes through this period. These revisions mostly reflect the removal of previously imputed records, with the receipt of more complete data. Users should exercise caution when referring to estimates around this period. 

Change periods

This release presents percentage change between the weeks ending 14 May 2022 and:

  • 30 April 2022, for fortnight
  • 16 April 2022, for month
  • 15 May 2021, for year

This differs for employment size estimates which are month lagged.

National

In the fortnight to 14 May 2022:

  • Payroll jobs increased by 0.1%, compared to an increase of 0.1% in the previous fortnight
  • Total wages paid decreased by 1.8%, compared to a decrease of 0.8% in the previous fortnight
Percentage change in payroll jobs and total wages
Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
Payroll jobs0.10.21.5
Total wages-1.8-2.66.7

Estimates of change throughout this release are calculated using un-rounded index values. They may be different from, but are more accurate than, movements obtained from the rounded index values.

  1. Indexed to the week ending 14 March 2020.
  2. Payroll jobs and wages data during June and July see a greater variation in business payroll reporting around the end of financial year. For more information, see Variation in revisions in Data variability and revisions

State and territory

Payroll jobs

All geographical areas in this release represent the residential address of the jobholder. 

In the fortnight to 14 May 2022, the largest changes in payroll jobs were:

  • Northern Territory, up 0.9%
  • South Australia, up 0.6%

 

State and territory percentage change in payroll jobs, in the fortnight to 14 May 2022

Loading map...

This map presents the percentage change in payroll jobs in the fortnight up to 14 May 2022, by the state and territory of the jobholder's residential address. 

- New South Wales (-0.1%)
- Victoria (0.3%)
- Queensland (0.0%)
- South Australia (0.6%)
- Western Australia (0.3%)
- Tasmania (0%)
- Northern Territory (0.9%)
- Australian Capital Territory (-0.1%)

Percentage change in payroll jobs, by state and territory
Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
New South Wales-0.10.10.3
Victoria0.30.21.8
Queensland0.00.32.2
South Australia0.60.12.4
Western Australia0.30.22.2
Tasmania0.0-0.82.5
Northern Territory0.91.02.4
Australian Capital Territory-0.10.03.5
Australia0.10.21.5

Total wages

In the fortnight to 14 May 2022, the largest changes in total wages paid were:

  • New South Wales, down 2.3%
  • Queensland, down 1.8%
Percentage change in total wages, by state and territory
Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
New South Wales-2.3-3.35.9
Victoria-1.6-2.47.1
Queensland-1.8-2.56.7
South Australia-0.7-1.87.2
Western Australia-1.6-2.17.5
Tasmania-1.2-1.77.4
Northern Territory-0.20.05.3
Australian Capital Territory-0.1-0.37.9
Australia-1.8-2.66.7

Sub-state - payroll jobs

Time series estimates of payroll jobs by sub-state regions (Statistical Area 4 (SA4), Statistical Area 3 (SA3) and Greater Capital City Area (GCCSA) regions) are presented as index values in Table 5 of the Data downloads. 

For more information on the geography used in this release, see the Glossary.

GCCSA regions percentage change in payroll jobs, in the fortnight to 14 May 2022

Loading map...

This map presents the percentage change in payroll jobs in the fortnight up to 14 May 2022, by the GCCSA region of the jobholder's residential address. 
- Greater Sydney (-0.5%)
- Rest of New South Wales (0.4%)
- Greater Melbourne (0.1%)
- Rest of Victoria (0.6 %)
- Greater Brisbane (0.1%)
- Rest of Queensland (-0.3%)
- Greater Adelaide (0.5%)
- Rest of South Australia (0.5%)
- Greater Perth (0.3%)
- Rest of Western Australia (0.0%)
- Greater Hobart (0.0%)
- Rest of Tasmania (-0.2%)
- Greater Darwin (0.6%)
- Rest of Northern Territory (1.2%)
- Australian Capital Territory (-0.1%)

Footnotes

The ACT only has one GCCSA region for the entire Territory.

Sex and age group

Persons aged 15-19 years old by sex indexes can be affected by a higher proportion of records with unknown sex than other age group indexes. For more information, see the Update of jobholder characteristics in the historical Methods review

Payroll jobs

In the fortnight to 14 May 2022, the largest changes in payroll jobs were:

  • worked by females, up 0.6%
  • worked by persons aged 70 and over, up 2.3%
Percentage change in payroll jobs, by sex and age group (a) 
  Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
SexMales-0.5-0.8-1.7
Females0.60.70.8
Age group (years)15-19-0.74.15.6
20-290.20.11.4
30-390.1-0.30.7
40-490.0-0.20.4
50-590.0-0.31.0
60-691.10.74.1
70 and over2.32.57.8
All persons 0.10.21.5

a. Persons with 'unknown' sex and age are only included in the calculation of All persons indexes. For more information, see Inclusion of unknown characteristics in How data are processed.

  1. Indexed to the week ending 14 March 2020.

Total wages

In the fortnight to 14 May 2022, the largest changes in total wages paid were:

  • worked by males, down 2.1%
  • worked by persons aged 15-19, down 13.6%
Percentage change in total wages, by sex and age group (a)
  Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
SexMales-2.1-3.04.2
Females-1.1-2.18.5
Age group (years)15-19-13.6-8.510.4
20-29-1.5-1.97.8
30-39-1.3-2.16.1
40-49-1.9-2.65.7
50-59-1.9-3.36.4
60-69-0.5-2.39.4
70 and over1.5-0.214.5
All persons -1.8-2.66.7

a. Persons with 'unknown' sex and age are only included in the calculation of All persons indexes. For more information, see Inclusion of unknown characteristics in How data are processed.

5 year age groups - Payroll jobs

Time series estimates of payroll jobs by 5 year age groups by sex are presented as index values in Table 8 of the Data downloads. 

Industry

Payroll jobs

In the fortnight to 14 May 2022, the largest changes in payroll jobs were:

  • Education and training, up 4.9%
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing and Wholesale trade, both down 1.9%
Percentage change in payroll jobs, by industry (a)
Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
Agriculture, forestry and fishing-1.9-3.0-4.4
Mining-1.0-0.75.4
Manufacturing-0.8-1.7-4.2
Electricity, gas, water and waste services0.50.00.5
Construction-0.4-1.0-3.4
Wholesale trade-1.9-2.3-3.2
Retail trade-0.5-0.4-0.3
Accommodation and food services-0.82.1-11.2
Transport, postal and warehousing-0.7-0.2-2.9
Information media and telecommunications0.90.52.4
Financial and insurance services-1.0-1.02.4
Rental, hiring and real estate services-0.3-0.4-1.2
Professional, scientific and technical services-0.4-0.62.5
Administrative and support services0.80.5-0.1
Public administration and safety1.01.22.5
Education and training4.94.42.5
Health care and social assistance0.70.62.9
Arts and recreation services-0.6-0.82.0
Other services-1.3-1.4-4.9
All industries0.10.21.5
  1. Some industries experience pronounced seasonality in either payroll jobs and wages or both. For more information, see Seasonality in Data variability and revisions.

  1. Industries ranked by percentage change in the latest fortnight. 

Total wages

In the fortnight to 14 May 2022, the largest changes in total wages paid were:

  • Accommodation and food services, down 10.8%
  • Wholesale trade, down 7.1%
Percentage change in total wages, by industry (a)
Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
Agriculture, forestry and fishing-1.8-2.50.7
Mining-5.1-4.511.7
Manufacturing-3.3-5.21.5
Electricity, gas, water and waste services-0.10.35.4
Construction0.41.00.8
Wholesale trade-7.1-10.11.6
Retail trade-3.7-6.40.6
Accommodation and food services-10.8-7.9-4.8
Transport, postal and warehousing-3.5-5.32.3
Information media and telecommunications-2.2-2.36.6
Financial and insurance services-3.0-4.36.0
Rental, hiring and real estate services-1.2-0.85.8
Professional, scientific and technical services-1.1-1.19.2
Administrative and support services1.6-0.23.6
Public administration and safety-0.10.46.0
Education and training4.42.45.7
Health care and social assistance-1.4-2.59.9
Arts and recreation services-1.9-4.96.8
Other services-2.4-2.00.8
All industries-1.8-2.66.7
  1. Some industries experience pronounced seasonality in either payroll jobs and wages or both. For more information, see Seasonality in Data variability and revisions.

Industry subdivision - Payroll jobs

Time series estimates of payroll jobs by industry subdivision are presented as index values in Table 6 of the Data downloads. For more information on the industry classifications used in this release, see the Glossary

Private sector industry - Payroll jobs

Time series estimates of payroll jobs by private sector for selected industry divisions are presented as index values in Table 9 of the Data downloads. More information on the sector classification can be found in Updating characteristics variables in How data are processed and the Glossary

Employment size

The ABS has previously advised caution in using the most recent periods in payroll jobs by employment size indexes, which are subject to higher than usual revisions over a longer period - particularly for small employers. These indexes are more heavily influenced by changes in reporting behaviour and reporting obligations than other indexes, affecting the interpretation of underlying change in labour market conditions. To provide more stability at the end point of these series, a month lag in the reference week is in place. 

These estimates present percentage change between the weeks ending 16 April 2022 and:

  • 2 April 2022, for fortnight
  • 19 March 2022, for month
  • 17 April 2021, for year

In the fortnight to 16 April 2022, the largest changes in payroll jobs were:

  • Under 20 employees, down 2.7%
Percentage change in payroll jobs by employment size, for the week ending 16 April 2022 (a)
Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
Under 20 employees-2.7-2.77.2
20-199 employees-0.9-1.0-2.6
200 employees and over0.2-0.12.5
All businesses-0.9-1.02.6
  1. Records with 'unknown' employment size are only included in the calculation of All businesses indexes. For more information, see Revisions in sub-populations in Data variability and revisions

Distribution of characteristics

To aid in the interpretability of payroll job estimates, the following data download contains selected distributions of jobholder and employer characteristics by state and territory. 

Records with 'unknown' characteristics have been excluded from the calculation of proportions. For more information on the source, impact and proportion of unknowns, see the Updating characteristic variables and Inclusion of unknown characteristics sections of How data are processed

Table 20: Payroll jobs - characteristics distributions

Contains selected distributions of jobholder and employer characteristics. 

Data downloads

Table 4: Payroll jobs and wages indexes

Table 5: Sub-state - Payroll jobs indexes

Table 6: Industry subdivision - Payroll jobs indexes

Table 7: Employer characteristics - Payroll jobs index

Table 8: Jobholder characteristics - Payroll jobs index

Table 9: Sector - Payroll jobs index

All data cubes

Changes in this release

On this page, section updates included:

  • New section: Factors affecting interpretation
  • Upcoming changes: additional text on end of financial year reporting

Within the Methodology page, updates occurred within:

  • Methods review: section removed

  • How data are processed: some text from Methods review integrated with Update of jobholder characteristics section

Upcoming changes

End of financial year variation in reporting

Around the end of the financial year there is a greater variation in business reporting, as businesses finalise their employee's earning information and the financial year is reset in payroll systems. This variability in reporting can make the production of high quality wages indexes difficult.

While wages estimates continue to be included in this release, it is possible they may be temporarily excluded from the August release until more complete data is received. 

Expansion of outputs

Payroll job outputs will be expanded over 2022, however the availability in specific releases is yet to be determined. In alphabetical order, the planned outputs are: 

  • Employment size by industry division
  • Industry division by Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4)
  • Private sector by state/territory
  • State by industry subdivision

Previous articles

Previously published articles and information of interest are linked below:

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6160.0.55.001.