Labour Account Australia

Latest release

The Australian Labour Account provides quarterly and annual time series for four quadrants: Jobs, People, Hours and Payments

Reference period
September 2023
Released
8/12/2023
  • Next Release 8/03/2024
    Labour Account Australia, December 2023
  • Next Release 7/06/2024
    Labour Account Australia, March 2024
  • Next Release 6/09/2024
    Labour Account Australia, June 2024
  • View all releases

Key statistics

In seasonally adjusted terms for the September quarter 2023:

  • total jobs increased 0.7% to 16.0 million
  • filled jobs increased 0.8% to 15.5 million
  • secondary jobs increased 1.0% to 1.1 million
  • proportion of vacant jobs decreased to 2.6%
  • multiple job-holders decreased 0.8% to 955,600
  • hours worked decreased 0.7% to 5.9 billion hours.
Key statistics - Seasonally adjusted
  Sep-23Quarterly change (%)Annual change (%)
Jobs 
 Total jobs15,950,9000.7%2.7%
 Filled jobs15,532,5000.8%3.4%
 Job vacancies418,400-1.6%-15.6%
 Main jobs14,448,7000.8%3.1%
 Secondary jobs1,083,9001.0%7.4%
 Proportion of vacant jobs2.6%nana
People 
 Employed people14,435,3000.6%3.1%
 Multiple job-holders955,600-0.8%6.8%
 Multiple job-holding rate6.6%nana
Hours 
 Hours actually worked5,878.6 million-0.7%4.2%
Payments 
 Average income per employed person$23,494.001.8%5.6%
Key statistics - Trend (a)
  Sep-23Quarterly change (%)Annual change (%)
Jobs 
 Total jobs15,949,9000.7%2.8%
 Filled jobs15,530,2000.8%3.2%
 Job vacancies419,700-1.0%-11.2%
 Main jobs14,421,3000.7%2.8%
 Secondary jobs1,109,0002.3%9.7%
 Proportion of vacant jobs2.6%nana
People 
 Employed people14,436,6000.6%2.9%
 Multiple job-holders970,9000.8%6.9%
 Multiple job-holding rate6.7%nana
Hours 
 Hours actually worked5,885.7 million0.3%4.6%
  1. The ABS expects to reinstate trend estimates in the Payments quadrant in mid-2024. For more information, see Data impacts and changes.

Reinstating trend estimates

The ABS has reinstated Labour Account trend estimates for the Jobs, People and Hours quadrants (including for the entire COVID-19 period in spreadsheets) in this issue and reverted to concurrent seasonal adjustment across all series. However, key figures and graphs in the Labour Account release will continue to focus on seasonally adjusted estimates. This will be reviewed for future releases. For more information, see Seasonal adjustment and trend estimates below.

Guide to labour statistics

To learn more about our different labour measures, their purpose and how to use them, see our Guide to labour statistics. It provides summary information on labour market topics including Industry employment data.

Data impacts and changes

Revisions this quarter

Data in the four quadrants of the Labour Account have been revised from the previously published estimates.

Revisions may be attributable to a range of factors including revisions to quarterly source data. These include:

  • revisions to Overseas Arrivals and Departures data
  • revisions to data from the quarterly Australian National Accounts
  • new annual benchmarks used in estimating business-side filled jobs
  • new data from the most recent Input-Output and Supply-Use tables
  • new data from the 2020-21 Linked Employer-Employee Dataset. 

Further information on revisions in the Labour Account can be found in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods.

Revisions to published estimates are shown in Table 22 in the Data downloads section.

Change to the release of annual Labour Account data

The Labour Account has historically been published as a combination of quarterly and annual data (for industry divisions) and annual financial year data (for industry division and sub-divisions). The annual data was updated each year between quarterly releases in around November, resulting in a misalignment of the quarterly and annual series.

To address this misalignment and provide additional information at the detailed industry sub-division level, the ABS has ceased producing separate annual datasets and has begun publishing industry sub-division data in Data Explorer on a quarterly basis. This information can be used to produce financial year (or calendar year) totals.

The data now available to download are:

  • time series spreadsheets containing quarterly estimates (seasonally adjusted and trend) by industry division and total all industries
  • Data Explorer file containing quarterly estimates (original only) by industry sub-division, division and total all industries.

As outlined in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, the methods used by the Labour Account to annualise quarterly data varies for each quadrant depending on whether the data are stock or flow estimates. The Jobs and Persons quadrants contain stock data which are measured at a point in time (the end month of each quarter). We recommend data in these quadrants be annualised using an average of the four quarterly estimates. The Volume (Hours) and Payments quadrants contain flow data which represent a measure of activity over the whole quarter (e.g. hours worked over the whole quarter). For these quadrants, the annual estimate will be the sum of the four quarterly estimates.

Given the small values associated with some detailed industry data at the sub-division level, users should be mindful of drawing insights from particular quarterly variations and are encouraged to view the data in respect of longer term trends.

Seasonal adjustment and trend estimates

ABS suspended the publication of Labour Account trend estimates in June quarter 2020, due to large changes in the labour market during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic (June quarter 2020 to June quarter 2022).

As suggested in A Guide to Interpreting Time Series, trend estimates are generally a better guide to the substantive movements in the series and are considered the best indicator of the underlying behaviour of the labour market. 

Given this, following extensive analysis of the time series, the ABS has now reinstated Labour Account trend estimates for the Jobs, People and Hours quadrants and reverted back to using the concurrent seasonal adjustment method across all series (rather than using forward factors).

For the Labour Account and National Accounts, the ABS is reinstating trend estimates in step with key contributing data sources. Across the Jobs, People, and Hours quadrants, key data sources including Labour Force and Job Vacancies have already reinstated trend estimates. Trend estimates will be reinstated in the Payments quadrant alongside Business Indicators. This is expected to occur in mid-2024.

The ABS has included the trend during the COVID-19 period in the spreadsheets in this release. However, given the larger than usual quarter-to-quarter changes between June quarter 2020 and June quarter 2022, the ABS recommends caution when using trend estimates during this period. 

The ABS will undertake another review of the Labour Account seasonal adjustment and trend estimates in the Annual Seasonal Reanalysis in 2024. As part of this process, there may be larger than usual revisions, particularly for the first two years of the pandemic.

Jobs

In seasonally adjusted terms for the September quarter 2023:

  • filled jobs increased by 0.8%, following a 0.5% rise in the June quarter 2023, and 3.4% through the year
  • the number of main jobs increased by 108,400 (0.8%)
  • the proportion of vacant jobs decreased to 2.6%
  • the number of public sector jobs remained steady, while the number of private sector jobs increased by 0.9%.

Total jobs

In seasonally adjusted terms for the September quarter 2023, the total number of jobs increased by 112,700 (0.7%). This consisted of a decrease of 6,800 job vacancies and an increase of 119,600 filled jobs.

Filled jobs

In seasonally adjusted terms for the September quarter 2023, the number of filled jobs increased by 119,600 to 15.5 million. 

Filled jobs, by industry, September quarter 2023, seasonally adjusted
Filled jobs ('000)Quarterly change (%)Annual change (%)
Agriculture, forestry and fishing (A)463.4-1.30.7
Mining (B)218.73.710.7
Manufacturing (C)904.40.51.2
Electricity, gas, water and waste services (D)141.42.48.5
Construction (E)1,195.1-1.9-3.9
Wholesale trade (F)624.9-0.8-1.6
Retail trade (G)1,462.5-0.9-1.2
Accommodation and food services (H)1,204.03.59.0
Transport, postal and warehousing (I)748.44.06.9
Information media and telecommunications (J)228.58.49.8
Financial and insurance services (K)512.5-0.6-0.3
Rental, hiring and real estate services (L)332.33.62.3
Professional, scientific and technical services (M)1,215.0-1.02.7
Administrative and support services (N)991.2-1.3-3.7
Public administration and safety (O)825.4-0.33.2
Education and training (P)1,274.21.79.6
Health care and social assistance (Q)2,324.82.28.2
Arts and recreation services (R)294.95.820.2
Other services (S)570.9-0.60.6
Total all industries15,532.50.83.4

Main and secondary jobs

In seasonally adjusted terms for the September quarter 2023:

  • main jobs increased by 108,400 (0.8%)
  • secondary jobs increased by 11,200 (1.0%)
  • the proportion of secondary jobs to filled jobs increased to 7.0%.

The three industries with the highest number of secondary jobs were Health care and social assistance, Administrative and support services, and Education and training.

Secondary jobs can be held by people who have their main job in the same or a different industry. 

Statistical discrepancy - Filled jobs

The Labour Account compiles independent estimates of the number of filled jobs from both a household and business perspective. The difference between these two estimates is referred to as the "statistical discrepancy".  The household estimates of filled jobs are considered the best measure of labour market activity total economy level, while business sources are considered more reliable estimating the distribution of jobs across industries. As a result, the Labour Account filled jobs estimates are constrained (equivalent) to the household side.

The discrepancy between the two sources is reduced to zero through the balancing processes of the Labour Account, producing a single harmonised or "balanced" number of filled jobs. The balanced estimate of filled jobs incorporates the advantage of the industry distribution derived from business side data, whilst constraining to a total economy estimate sourced from household side data. In original terms the discrepancy between household sources and business sources was 378,300 jobs in the September quarter 2023, or 2.5% of the household estimate.

While the business sources have been showing stronger jobs growth over the COVID period, this hasn't impacted on overall Labour Accounts aggregates given the Labour Account jobs estimates are constrained to the household side.

Balancing decisions for Rental, hiring and real estate services and Other services were mostly based on household survey sources. All other industries were mostly based on business survey sources.

People

In seasonally adjusted terms for the September quarter 2023:

  • the total number of employed people increased by 0.6% to 14.4 million
  • the number of multiple job-holders decreased by 0.8%
  • unemployed people increased by 9,700 people to 509,800.

The three industries with the highest number of employed people in the September quarter 2023 were Health care and social assistance, Retail trade, and Education and training.

Hours

In seasonally adjusted terms for the September quarter 2023, the total number of hours actually worked decreased by 39.6 million hours (0.7%) to 5.9 billion hours.

The three industries with the highest number of hours actually worked in the September quarter 2023 were Health care and social assistance, Construction, and Professional, scientific and technical services.

Payments

The Labour Account Payments quadrant presents the costs incurred by enterprises in employing labour, and the income received by people from its provision. Total income consists of compensation of employees and labour income from self-employment. The addition of other related costs to employers to total income will derive total labour costs.

In seasonally adjusted terms for the September quarter 2023:

  • total labour income increased by $8,048 million (2.4%) to $339,144 million
  • the average labour income per employed person increased by 1.8% to $23,494
  • total compensation of employees increased by 2.4% to $310,218 million
  • labour income from self-employment increased by 3.0% to $28,926 million
  • total labour costs increased by $8,001 million (2.3%) to $360,202 million. 

The three industries with the highest total labour income in the September quarter 2023 were Health care and social assistance, Professional, scientific and technical services, and Construction.

Data downloads

Time series spreadsheets

Quarterly estimates for Jobs, People, Hours and Payments by Industry Division and Total All Industries.

Data files

Data Explorer datasets

Quarterly original estimates for Jobs, People, Hours and Payments by Industry Subdivision, Division and Total All Industries.

Labour Account balanced - Balanced quarterly original estimates for Jobs, People, Hours and Payments by Industry Subdivision, Division and Total All Industries.

For information on Data Explorer and how it works, see the Data explorer user guide.

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6150.0.55.003.

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