Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia

Latest release

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

Reference period
Week ending 12 November 2022
Released
8/12/2022
  • Next Release 9/02/2023
    Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia, Week ending 14 January 2023
  • Next Release 9/03/2023
    Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia, Week ending 11 February 2023
  • Next Release 6/04/2023
    Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia, Week ending 11 March 2023
  • View all releases

Key statistics

Between the weeks ending 29 October 2022 and 12 November 2022:

  • Payroll jobs, up 0.5%
  • Total wages, up 0.3%
Suspension of next release - note added 16 January 2023

The ABS and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) have identified additional variability in Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting over the most recent periods.

This issue relates to processes used to combine data from employers who are now reporting through the second phase of STP and employers who are still in transition and reporting through the initial phase. 

This is a technical issue that is limited to the use of STP data for statistical purposes. This issue does not reflect the reporting of STP data to the ATO or how it is used for other purposes.

The ABS will temporarily suspend the Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia release, with no release on 18 January 2023. Changes will be made to processes and the ABS will resume publishing these statistics as soon as possible.

Additional reporting variability and temporary suspension of detailed data downloads

A greater degree of variability in Single Touch Payroll reporting was observed over the most recent periods, compared with recent pay cycles. 

While this has been effectively managed by the ABS through its regular methods (e.g. imputation and aggregate reporting-related adjustments), it is not possible to do this for all payroll jobs indexes. 

As a result, the detailed indexes (payroll jobs by industry subdivision, sub-state geography, 5-year age groups, and sector) have not been published in this release. 

These indexes will be published in January, when more complete data are received for this period. 

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.

Alternative period comparisons 

The combination of seasonal effects and differences in composition can increase the volatility of week-on-week or month-on-month changes in these estimates. For these reasons, the ABS recommends using comparisons of the current month to the same month in the previous year, or 3 months prior, to understand any trends in the payroll jobs and wages estimates presented. These comparisons will likely reduce the impact of seasonal factors and compositional change, making trends easier to identify. 

Earnings guide

To learn more about the different labour measures available, their purpose and how to use them, see our Earnings guide.  

Revisions

This release sees higher than usual revisions in August 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 12 November 2022 and:

  • 29 October 2022, for fortnight
  • 15 October 2022, for month
  • 13 November 2021, for year

This differs for employment size estimates which are month lagged.

National

In the fortnight to 12 November 2022:

  • Payroll jobs increased by 0.5%, compared to an increase of 0.2% in the previous fortnight
  • Total wages paid increased by 0.3%, compared to a decrease of 0.6% in the previous fortnight
Percentage change in payroll jobs and total wages
Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
Payroll jobs0.50.71.8
Total wages0.3-0.23.6

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 12 November 2022, the largest changes in payroll jobs were:

  • South Australia, up 0.9%
  • Victoria, up 0.8%
Percentage change in payroll jobs, by state and territory
Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
New South Wales0.50.61.7
Victoria0.81.13.1
Queensland0.10.20.8
South Australia0.91.21.0
Western Australia0.50.91.5
Tasmania0.30.60.6
Northern Territory0.20.81.6
Australian Capital Territory0.20.52.6
Australia0.50.71.8

Monthly percentage change in payroll jobs, by state and territory

Loading map...

This map presents the percentage change in payroll jobs in the month up to 12 November 2022, by the state and territory of the jobholder's residential address. 

Total wages

In the fortnight to 12 November 2022, the largest changes in total wages paid were:

  • Western Australia, up 1.0%
  • Victoria, up 0.6%
Percentage change in total wages, by state and territory
Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
New South Wales0.10.03.4
Victoria0.6-0.13.7
Queensland0.3-0.74.0
South Australia0.1-0.13.8
Western Australia1.0-0.73.5
Tasmania0.10.84.6
Northern Territory0.10.34.0
Australian Capital Territory-0.5-0.12.4
Australia0.3-0.23.6

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.

Sex and age group

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

Payroll jobs

In the fortnight to 12 November 2022, the largest changes in payroll jobs were:

  • worked by females, up 0.5%
  • worked by persons aged 70 and over, up 1.8%
Percentage change in payroll jobs, by sex and age group (a)
  Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
SexMales0.20.0-2.7
Females0.50.9-0.2
Age group (years)15-190.61.35.8
20-290.81.03.4
30-390.30.41.2
40-490.20.50.4
50-590.30.40.1
60-691.11.32.5
70 and over1.82.84.9
All persons 0.50.71.8

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 12 November 2022, the largest changes in total wages paid were:

  • worked by females, up 0.6%
  • worked by persons aged 15-19, up 2.4%
Percentage change in payroll jobs, by sex and age group (a)
  Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
SexMales0.0-1.00.3
Females0.60.34.5
Age group (years)15-192.42.613.2
20-290.70.56.0
30-390.2-0.62.9
40-49-0.1-0.62.4
50-590.3-0.52.7
60-691.20.45.3
70 and over0.91.28.0
All persons 0.3-0.23.6

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 12 November 2022, the largest changes in payroll jobs were:

  • Administrative and support services, up 2.1%
  • Retail trade, up 1.8%
Percentage change in payroll jobs, by industry (a)
Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
Agriculture, forestry and fishing-0.7-0.6-5.8
Mining0.20.48.3
Manufacturing0.5-0.5-2.5
Electricity, gas, water and waste services-0.3-0.61.6
Construction0.0-0.8-0.4
Wholesale trade1.00.60.6
Retail trade1.82.33.3
Accommodation and food services0.80.45.7
Transport, postal and warehousing1.10.70.4
Information media and telecommunications-0.1-0.110.8
Financial and insurance services-1.0-0.9-0.1
Rental, hiring and real estate services0.60.20.5
Professional, scientific and technical services0.1-0.12.8
Administrative and support services2.12.38.3
Public administration and safety0.40.60.6
Education and training0.53.55.1
Health care and social assistance-0.3-0.13.5
Arts and recreation services-0.40.512.9
Other services0.4-0.3-1.0
All industries0.50.71.8
  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 12 November 2022, the largest changes in total wages paid were:

  • Financial and insurance services, down 2.7%
  • Administrative and support services, up 2.4%
Percentage change in total wages, by industry (a)
Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
Agriculture, forestry and fishing-0.7-0.61.0
Mining0.8-2.113.2
Manufacturing1.3-0.8-1.3
Electricity, gas, water and waste services-1.2-2.32.6
Construction-0.1-0.71.9
Wholesale trade0.60.00.0
Retail trade1.8-0.62.3
Accommodation and food services0.7-0.612.7
Transport, postal and warehousing1.61.87.8
Information media and telecommunications-0.6-0.611.5
Financial and insurance services-2.7-3.42.5
Rental, hiring and real estate services-0.4-1.90.1
Professional, scientific and technical services-0.6-0.54.3
Administrative and support services2.42.16.3
Public administration and safety0.3-0.33.0
Education and training0.92.04.5
Health care and social assistance0.3-0.26.8
Arts and recreation services-2.4-2.110.4
Other services0.60.14.0
All industries0.3-0.23.6
  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

Industry employment guide

To learn more about the different labour measures available, their purpose and how to use them, see our Industry employment guide.

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 15 October 2022 and:

  • 1 October 2022, for fortnight

  • 17 September 2022, for month

  • 16 October 2021, for year

In the fortnight to 15 October 2022, the largest changes in payroll jobs were:

  • 200 employees and over, up 0.9%
Percentage change in payroll jobs by employment size, for the week ending 15 October 2022 (a)
Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
0-19 employees-0.6-1.7-1.1
20-199 employees0.2-1.08.4
200 employees and over0.9-0.15.0
All businesses0.3-0.74.1
  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

Estimates in Tables 4, 7 and 20 have been updated in this release. Tables 5, 6, 8 and 9 are included, but do not contain updated data due to the temporary suspension of these estimates. These indexes will be published in January 2023 when more complete data have been received for this period.

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

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.

Post-release changes

16 January 2023: New release note added regarding suspension of next release (scheduled for 18 January 2023)

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