Weekly Payroll Jobs

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Payroll job estimates, sourced from Single Touch Payroll (STP) data

Reference period
Week ending 11 November 2023

Key statistics

In the week ending 11 November 2023, payroll jobs:

  • decreased by 0.2% in the month since 14 October 2023
  • increased by 2.2% in the year since 12 November 2022

Factors affecting interpretation

These estimates are not seasonally adjusted and seasonality can affect the interpretation of change, 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 between any two periods, interpretation can be complicated by variations in payroll jobs 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.

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 estimates presented. These comparisons will likely reduce the impact of seasonal factors and compositional change, making trends easier to identify. 


This release sees higher than usual revisions between early to mid-August 2023, 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 11 November 2023 and:

  • 28 October 2023, for fortnight
  • 14 October 2023, for month
  • 12 November 2022, for year

This differs for employment size estimates which are a month lagged.


In the month to 11 November 2023, payroll jobs decreased by 0.2%, compared to an increase of 0.2% in the previous month.

  1. Indexed to the week ending 14 March 2020 (week 10 in 2020).
  2. Week 0 represents the weeks ending 4 January 2020, 2 January 2021, 1 January 2022 and 31 December 2022. Week 45 represents the weeks ending 14 November 2020, 13 November 2021, 12 November 2022 and 11 November 2023.
  3. Around the change in financial years estimates see a greater variation in business payroll reporting. For more information, see the Data variability and revisions section. 


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.

State and territory

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

In the month to 11 November 2023, the largest changes in payroll jobs were:

  • Western Australia, up 0.5%
  • Victoria and Queensland, down 0.4%
Percentage change in payroll jobs, by state and territory
Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
New South Wales-0.2-0.21.7
South Australia-
Western Australia0.00.53.7
Northern Territory0.2-0.14.6
Australian Capital Territory-0.2-0.12.7

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 11 November 2023, by the state and territory of the jobholder's residential address. 

Sex and age group

In mid-November 2023, the proportion of jobholders with unknown sex has risen to 8.0%. These jobholders are not evenly distributed, hence this proportion differs across detailed indexes which include sex, and can affect comparisons over time. Indexes of persons aged 15-19 years old by sex are particularly impacted by rising proportions of unknown sex. See the historical Methods review section on the Update of jobholder characteristics for more information. 

The increasingly high proportion of unknown sex resulted in the withdrawal of indexes of persons aged 15-19 years old by sex in the release of 11 May 2023.

In the month to 11 November 2023, the largest changes in payroll jobs were:

  • worked by males, down 0.7%
  • worked by persons aged 70 and over, down 2.7%
Percentage change in payroll jobs, by sex and age group (a)
  Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
Age group (years)15-190.41.4-3.4
70 and over-1.6-2.77.5
All persons -0.2-0.22.2

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

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.


In the month to 11 November 2023, the largest changes in payroll jobs were:

  • Public administration and safety, down 6.7%
  • Education and training, up 3.0%
Percentage change in payroll jobs, by industry (a)
Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
Agriculture, forestry and fishing-0.1-0.5-6.8
Electricity, gas, water and waste services-0.3-0.25.3
Wholesale trade0.0-0.5-0.7
Retail trade0.41.1-1.4
Accommodation and food services-0.1-0.2-6.3
Transport, postal and warehousing-0.10.0-0.7
Information media and telecommunications-0.10.2-2.8
Financial and insurance services0.00.31.3
Rental, hiring and real estate services-0.4-0.4-2.0
Professional, scientific and technical services0.0-0.2-2.3
Administrative and support services-0.10.8-3.5
Public administration and safety-3.3-6.73.5
Education and training0.73.04.2
Health care and social assistance0.20.55.9
Arts and recreation services0.20.63.7
Other services-0.6-0.6-1.5
All industries-0.2-0.22.2
  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 month.

Industry subdivision

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

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 advises 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. 

This release presents percentage change between the weeks ending 14 October 2023 and:

  • 30 September 2023, for fortnight
  • 16 September 2023, for month
  • 15 October 2022, for year

In the month to 14 October 2023, the largest changes in payroll jobs were:

  • 0-19 employees, down 1.4%
Percentage change in payroll jobs by employment size, for the week ending 14 October 2023 (a)
Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
0-19 employees-0.5-1.43.4
20-199 employees0.5-0.1-0.6
200 employees and over1.21.35.1
All businesses0.50.23.3
  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

Indexes of persons aged 15-19 years old by sex have been withdrawn (since the 11 May 2023 release) and appear as NA (not available) in Tables 4 and 8.

Table 4: 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 catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6160.0.55.001.

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