Weekly Payroll Jobs

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

Reference period
Week ending 15 July 2023

Key statistics

In the week ending 15 July 2023, payroll jobs:

  • decreased 0.2% in the month since 17 June 2023
  • increased 3.7% in the year since 16 July 2022

Withdrawal of wages estimates

As noted in the last release, with the recent development and release of the new Monthly Employee Earnings Indicator, wages indexes have been permanently withdrawn. See Changes in this release for more information. 

End of financial year reporting

Around the end of the financial year, there is usually a higher level of reporting variability as employers finalise their employees’ earnings and the payroll reporting financial year is reset. Until business reporting is more complete, the interpretation of change in payroll jobs across this period can be more challenging than usual. This period may also see greater revisions than usual in subsequent releases. 

Monthly change

Monthly change periods presented in this release reflect the change between the reference date (which usually aligns with the Labour Force Survey reference weeks) and the four weeks prior to it. Users should note that there are five weeks of data since the reference date of the previous release (week ending 10 June 2023). 

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 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.  


This release sees higher than usual revisions between early to mid-April 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 15 July 2023 and:

  • 01 July 2023, for fortnight
  • 17 June 2023, for month
  • 16 July 2022, for year

This differs for employment size estimates which are month lagged.


    In the week ending 15 July 2023, payroll jobs decreased by 0.2% over the month, compared to an increase of 0.3% 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 28 represents the weeks ending 18 July 2020, 17 July 2021, 16 July 2022 and 15 July 2023.
    3. Around the end of the financial year, in June and July, 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 15 July 2023, the largest changes were in:

    • Tasmania, down 0.6%
    • Australian Capital Territory, up 0.5%
    Percentage change in payroll jobs, by state and territory
    Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
    New South Wales-0.4-0.33.2
    South Australia-
    Western Australia-0.4-0.44.6
    Northern Territory-0.4-0.16.3
    Australian Capital Territory-

    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 15 July 2023, by the state and territory of the jobholder's residential address. 

    Sex and age group

    In mid-July 2023, the proportion of jobholders with unknown sex has risen to 6.6%. 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 15 July 2023, the largest changes in payroll jobs were:

    • worked by females, down 0.4%
    • worked by persons aged 15-19, down 1.4%
    Percentage change in payroll jobs, by sex and age group (a)
      Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
    Age group (years)15-19-0.6-1.4-1.2
    70 and over-1.20.413.0
    All persons -0.3-0.23.7

    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

    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 15 July 2023, the largest changes were in:

    • Agriculture, forestry and fishing, down 1.8%
    • Education and training, down 1.5%
    Percentage change in payroll jobs, by industry (a)
    Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
    Agriculture, forestry and fishing-0.8-1.8-4.3
    Electricity, gas, water and waste services-
    Wholesale trade0.2-0.81.6
    Retail trade0.00.31.9
    Accommodation and food services0.0-0.5-4.3
    Transport, postal and warehousing-0.1-0.30.5
    Information media and telecommunications-0.6-0.6-0.4
    Financial and insurance services0.0-0.72.5
    Rental, hiring and real estate services-0.5-1.1-0.8
    Professional, scientific and technical services-0.5-0.8-0.8
    Administrative and support services0.00.10.9
    Public administration and safety0.00.14.0
    Education and training-2.0-1.57.7
    Health care and social assistance0.00.05.2
    Arts and recreation services-0.1-1.16.2
    Other services0.0-0.42.1
    All industries-0.3-0.23.7
    1. Some industries experience pronounced seasonality in either payroll jobs and wages or both. For more information, see Seasonality in Data variability and revisions.

    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 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. 

    This release presents percentage change between the weeks ending 10 June 2023 and:

    • 27 May 2023, for fortnight
    • 13 May 2023, for month
    • 11 June 2022, for year

    In the month to 10 June 2023, the largest changes in payroll jobs were:

    • 200 employees and over, up 0.6%
    Percentage change in payroll jobs by employment size, for the week ending 10 June 2023 (a)
    Fortnight (%)Month (%)Year (%)
    0-19 employees-0.2-0.49.5
    20-199 employees0.0-0.22.0
    200 employees and over0.40.65.3
    All businesses0.20.25.6
    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

    Wages estimates have been removed from Table 4 in this release. Sub-state geography indexes (Table 5) have been withdrawn in this release.

    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

    Changes in this release

    Withdrawal of wages estimates

    The withdrawal of wages estimates are associated with the following changes in this release:

    • Title change to Weekly Payroll Jobs, to reflect the removal of wages indexes and availability of new earnings statistics in the Monthly Employee Earnings Indicator
    • Modification to data download Table 4 to remove the wages tab
    • Updated text and tables on the core release page and methodology reflecting the removal of wages estimates

    Withdrawal of sub-state geography estimates

    The withdrawal of sub-state geography estimates are associated with the following changes in this release:

    • Withdrawal of data download Table 5
    • Removal of sub-state geography references on the core release page and methodology 
    • Removal of the Greater Capital City Areas map

    Previous catalogue number

    This release previously used catalogue number 6160.0.55.001.

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