Job vacancies in Australia decrease but remain high at end of 2022

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Job vacancies decreased by 5 per cent in November 2022, declining by over 23,000 from August’s result, according to the latest report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

Despite the drop, the latest seasonally adjusted figure remained at high levels, with over 444,000 vacant roles. This marks an eight per cent drop from the index’s peak in May. 

The number of job vacancies in November was 12 per cent higher than in November 2021, which stood at 398,000, and represents a nearly two-fold figure from February 2020’s 228,000, said Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS. 

Furthermore, the percentage of businesses reporting at least one vacancy increased again. 

“While the number of vacancies has begun to fall over the past six months, we are continuing to see a greater share of businesses reporting at least one vacancy. It was 28 per cent of businesses in November 2022, a slight increase from August 2022 (27 per cent) and more than double what it was in February 2020 (11 per cent),” Jarvis said. 

The report also found continuous high demand for workers across many businesses and all industries amid a tight labour market. 

Nine out of 10 vacancies came from the private sector despite vacancies decreasing in the sector by 6 per cent from August to November 2022. 

Meanwhile, public sector vacancies increased by 6 per cent. 

When compared with pre-pandemic levels, both private and public sector vacancies were close to double what they were in February 2020, with increase rates at 96 per cent and 89 per cent, respectively. 

”There had been more rapid growth in private sector vacancies up to May 2022, from which they have fallen over the past six months,” Jarvis said. “Public sector vacancies have increased at a slower but steadier rate over that period.”

The largest quarterly decline was experienced by New South Wales, with a 12 per cent drop, and Victoria, with 7 per cent. 

The largest percentage growth was found in Tasmania, which increased by 13 per cent.