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Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia

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

Reference period
Week ending 15 January 2022
Released
10/02/2022

Key statistics

Between the weeks ending 1 and 15 January 2022:

  • Payroll jobs, up 1.0%
  • Total wages, down 0.1%

Seasonality in the labour market influenced payroll jobs and wages at the 2021 year-end, which is further described in the Media release.

Seasonality and reporting variability

The movements in payroll jobs and wages estimates at the 2021 year-end include large seasonal changes in the labour market - further described in the Seasonality spotlight article.

Some businesses have reduced activity in late December and early January which may lead to a higher degree of reporting variability over year-end. This can result in higher than usual levels of revision for both payroll jobs and wages for this period when more normal reporting resumes. Further information is available in the Reporting variability section of Data variability and revisions.

Update to jobholder characteristics in March release

The next release, on 10 March 2022, will incorporate updated jobholder characteristics across the time series. This will result in revisions to all indexes that include jobholder characteristics (sex, age and geography). 

To provide an indication of the extent of revisions, selected revised indexes (up to the week ending 15 January 2022) have been added to this release. Further detail is available in Upcoming changes

Revisions

This release sees higher than usual revisions in October 2021, as the 16 week imputation retention threshold passes through this period. Increased lags in reporting in lockdown areas contributed to over-imputation in the period of payroll job decline, which is now being removed as more complete data is received.

Users should exercise caution when referring to estimates across October 2021.  

National

In the fortnight to 15 January 2022:

  • Payroll jobs increased by 1.0%, compared to a decrease of 6.8% in the previous fortnight
  • Total wages paid decreased by 0.1%, compared to a decrease of 8.8% in the previous fortnight
Percentage change in payroll jobs and total wages
In the fortnight since 1 January 2022In the month since 18 December 2021In the year since 16 January 2021
Payroll jobs1.0%-5.8%0.8%
Total wages-0.1%-8.9%7.4%

Estimates of changes 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 15 January 2022, the largest changes in payroll jobs were:

  • Queensland, up 2.1%
  • Tasmania, up 1.5%

State and territory percentage change in payroll jobs, in the fortnight to 15 January 2022

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This map presents the percentage change in payroll jobs in the fortnight up to 15 January 2022, by the state and territory of the jobholder's residential address. 

- New South Wales (0.9%)
- Victoria (0.4%)
- Queensland (2.1%)
- South Australia (0.6%)
- Western Australia (1.3%)
- Tasmania (1.5%)
- Northern Territory (0.6%)
- Australian Capital Territory (0.9%)

Percentage change in payroll jobs, by state and territory
In the fortnight since 1 January 2022In the month since 18 December 2021In the year since 16 January 2021
New South Wales0.9%-5.8%-0.7%
Victoria0.4%-6.1%1.1%
Queensland2.1%-5.8%1.7%
South Australia0.6%-6.6%0.7%
Western Australia1.3%-5.2%3.1%
Tasmania1.5%-3.8%1.7%
Northern Territory0.6%-6.4%1.5%
Australian Capital Territory0.9%-5.3%0.3%
Australia1.0%-5.8%0.8%

Total wages

In the fortnight to 15 January 2022, the largest changes in total wages paid were:

  • Northern Territory, up 17.4%
  • Western Australia, up 2.8%
Percentage change in total wages, by state and territory
In the fortnight since 1 January 2022In the month since 18 December 2021In the year since 16 January 2021
New South Wales-1.4%-8.9%6.4%
Victoria-1.4%-11.4%7.4%
Queensland1.1%-8.1%8.2%
South Australia-0.2%-8.8%6.9%
Western Australia2.8%-6.3%8.6%
Tasmania0.6%-6.5%7.1%
Northern Territory (a)17.4%8.5%19.9%
Australian Capital Territory0.9%-7.3%7.0%
Australia-0.1%-8.9%7.4%
  1. Northern Territory wages estimates in the most recent fortnight include one-off bonus payments across a number of industries.

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 15 January 2022

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This map presents the percentage change in payroll jobs in the fortnight up to 15 January 2022, by the GCCSA region of the jobholder's residential address. 
- Greater Sydney (0.3%)
- Rest of New South Wales (1.4%)
- Greater Melbourne (0.4%)
- Rest of Victoria (0.2%)
- Greater Brisbane (1.6%)
- Rest of Queensland (2.3%)
- Greater Adelaide (0.4%)
- Rest of South Australia (0.8%)
- Greater Perth (1.2%)
- Rest of Western Australia (0.9%)
- Greater Hobart (1.1%)
- Rest of Tasmania (1.3%)
- Greater Darwin (0.9%)
- Rest of Northern Territory (-0.6%)
- Australian Capital Territory (0.9%)

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 are impacted by a higher proportion of records with unknown sex than other age group indexes. For more information, see the Impact of unknown sex section in Data variability and revisions

Payroll jobs

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

  • worked by males, up 1.9%
  • worked by persons aged 15-19, up 3.9%
Percentage change in payroll jobs, by sex and age group (a)
 In the fortnight since 1 January 2022In the month since 18 December 2021In the year since 16 January 2021
SexMales1.9%-5.2%-2.0%
Females-0.1%-6.3%-0.2%
Age group (years)15-193.9%-11.7%3.4%
20-291.5%-7.6%-0.3%
30-391.0%-4.6%0.5%
40-490.6%-4.4%0.4%
50-590.7%-4.3%0.8%
60-690.0%-5.5%3.5%
70 and over-2.2%-9.8%5.1%
All persons1.0%-5.8%0.8%

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 15 January 2022, the largest changes in total wages paid were:

  • worked by females, down 2.1%
  • worked by persons aged 70 years and over, down 4.3%
Percentage change in total wages, by sex and age group (a)
 In the fortnight since 1 January 2022In the month since 18 December 2021In the year since 16 January 2021
SexMales1.3%-9.9%5.0%
Females-2.1%-7.6%8.8%
Age group (years)15-19 year olds-1.5%-11.9%16.2%
20-29 year olds0.4%-10.4%6.9%
30-39 year olds0.7%-8.2%7.1%
40-49 year olds-0.3%-8.9%6.7%
50-59 year olds-0.5%-8.3%7.4%
60-69 year olds-1.3%-8.0%10.1%
70 and over-4.3%-11.8%11.8%
All persons-0.1%-8.9%7.4%

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 15 January 2022, the largest changes in payroll jobs were:

  • Construction, up 7.5%
  • Education and training, down 6.8%

Percentage change in payroll jobs, by industry (a)
In the fortnight since 1 January 2022In the month since 18 December 2021In the year since 16 January 2021
Agriculture, forestry and fishing2.7%-6.1%-2.7%
Mining1.1%-1.2%6.9%
Manufacturing5.2%-3.9%-2.7%
Electricity, gas, water and waste services0.8%-1.0%1.8%
Construction7.5%-5.6%-3.6%
Wholesale trade1.9%-3.5%-0.9%
Retail trade1.1%-5.6%-0.2%
Accommodation and food services-0.4%-11.9%-12.6%
Transport, postal and warehousing-1.0%-6.8%-4.8%
Information media and telecommunications1.6%-3.5%0.9%
Financial and insurance services0.4%-3.5%3.1%
Rental, hiring and real estate services0.8%-6.0%-2.7%
Professional, scientific and technical services1.7%-3.2%2.7%
Administrative and support services5.3%-8.0%-0.3%
Public administration and safety-0.1%-2.0%2.9%
Education and training-6.8%-12.6%3.8%
Health care and social assistance-0.2%-3.9%1.8%
Arts and recreation services-0.9%-10.0%-3.4%
Other services0.5%-8.1%-7.0%
All industries1.0%-5.8%0.8%
  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 15 January 2022, the largest changes in total wages paid were:

  • Accommodation and food services, down 10.0%
  • Construction, up 8.8%

Percentage change in total wages, by industry(a)
In the fortnight since 1 January 2022In the month since 18 December 2021In the year since 16 January 2021
Agriculture, forestry and fishing3.1%-12.4%4.6%
Mining3.3%0.1%14.1%
Manufacturing3.5%-11.3%3.1%
Electricity, gas, water and waste services2.0%-5.5%6.5%
Construction8.8%-13.8%-0.1%
Wholesale trade-0.5%-8.1%5.5%
Retail trade-2.6%-5.9%7.4%
Accommodation and food services-10.0%-13.5%-4.7%
Transport, postal and warehousing-3.1%-10.1%1.9%
Information media and telecommunications-2.7%-8.0%5.6%
Financial and insurance services-1.8%-25.1%7.0%
Rental, hiring and real estate services2.5%-10.6%7.4%
Professional, scientific and technical services0.5%-7.3%11.2%
Administrative and support services6.7%-12.3%6.8%
Public administration and safety1.1%0.1%8.8%
Education and training-6.4%-9.9%6.4%
Health care and social assistance-3.0%-2.0%7.5%
Arts and recreation services-5.3%-9.1%3.6%
Other services1.2%-9.9%-0.5%
All industries-0.1%-8.9%7.4%
  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. 

In this release the latest week of data for these indexes is for the week ending 18 December 2021, which is also reflected in the percentage change estimates presented. 

Percentage change in payroll jobs by employment size(a)(b)
In the fortnight since 4 December 2021In the month since 20 November 2021In the year since 19 December 2020
Under 20 employees-0.7%-0.2%7.9%
20-199 employees-0.8%-0.2%0.6%
200 employees and over-0.1%0.4%3.2%
All businesses-0.4%0.1%3.8%
  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
  2. With respect to the week ending 18 December 2021.  

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, however as at mid-November 2021:

  • almost no payroll jobs have an unknown state or territory,
  • less than 0.5% of payroll jobs have an unknown age,
  • less than 1.5% of payroll jobs have an unknown industry, and
  • less than 3% of payroll jobs have unknown sex.

For more information on the source and impact of unknowns see the Updating characteristic variables section in How data are processed and Impact of unknown sex section in Data variability and revisions.

Table 20: Payroll jobs - characteristics distributions

Contains selected distributions of jobholder and employer characteristics, available in this release since 9 September 2021. 

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

Contains estimates of payroll jobs by employment size, including state and territory dimension, updated to the week ending 18 December 2021.

Table 8: Jobholder characteristics - Payroll jobs index

Contains estimates of payroll jobs by 5 year age groups. 

Table 9: Sector - Payroll jobs index

Contains estimates of payroll jobs by private sector for selected industry divisions, available in this release since 7 October 2021. 

 

All data cubes

Updated to include Table 4a as released on Thursday 24 February 2022

Changes in this release

The following section was updated in this release:

  • Upcoming changes: Additional content added

Upcoming changes

Upcoming revisions in jobholder characteristics

The next release includes an update to jobholder characteristics, which are sourced from a combination of ATO Client Register and STP information.

The majority of revisions reflect updates from the 2021 Client Register but some reflect updates to the 2020 Client Register (identified through the 2021 update process).

The update will improve the quality of indexes that include sex, age or geography (including sub-state indexes). Revisions in these indexes may be visible at the end of each financial year in some detailed indexes, as changes in address and previously unknown characteristics are updated. More detail will be provided about the update in the release on 10 March 2022.

For further information on how STP data are enhanced through combining other administrative data held by the ABS, see Updating characteristics variables in How data are processed

Selected revised indexes (up to the week ending 15 January 2022) with the Client Register updates applied, have been added to this release. 

Table 4a: Payroll jobs and wages indexes - selected jobholder characteristics

Contains selected jobholder characteristics estimates of sex, age and geography, updated to the week ending 15 January 2022.

Expansion of outputs in this release

Payroll job outputs will be expanded over 2022. The availability in specific releases is yet to be determined. Expected Data download templates are available on request at labour.statistics@abs.gov.au

In alphabetical order, the planned outputs are: 

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

Update to thematic grouping and navigation on the ABS website

Labour statistics have traditionally been organised into two thematic groupings on the ABS website: 'Employment and unemployment'; and 'Earnings and work hours'. The ABS is planning to update these themes to better reflect the current range of available labour statistics, better align key labour market concepts with website themes and navigation, and improve discoverability.

The planned new themes are:

  • ‘Employment and unemployment’
  • ‘Jobs’
  • ‘Earnings and working conditions’
  • ‘Labour accounts’

These new thematic groupings and navigation (and the statistical releases which will appear under each theme) can be viewed on our Beta website, at beta.abs.gov.au/statistics.html#labour.

The key changes include:

  • addition of a 'Jobs' theme - to reflect the increasing range of jobs-related data ABS is releasing – including Weekly payroll jobs and wages and Jobs in Australia (currently in 'Earnings and work hours'), in addition to the longstanding statistics on Job vacancies and Job mobility (currently in 'Employment and unemployment').
  • addition of a 'Labour accounts' theme - for cross-cutting quarterly and annual labour account data on jobs, people, hours and payments (currently in 'Employment and unemployment').
  • renaming the 'Earnings and work hours' theme to 'Earnings and working conditions' - to provide a clearer pathway the large range of information available on working conditions beyond wages (work arrangements, flexibility, workplace relations, etc) and reflect that key hours data are available from the 'Employment and unemployment' theme (from the monthly Labour Force Survey) and the Labour account.

The changes are expected to be implemented in the first half of 2022. While implementation of these changes will result in a change to the placement of some statistical releases, and their respective URLs, there will be automatic redirects put in place. These redirects will ensure that existing URLs and bookmarks will continue to work.

If you have any feedback or questions on this new approach, please email us at labour.statistics@abs.gov.au.

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

24 February 2022: Selected revised jobholder characteristics indexes added to the release, updated to the week ending 15 January 2022.