Home / News / World /  Australia job openings up 100% in 2 years: Where are the vacancies

Job vacancies in Australia decreased by 2.1%, about 10,000 vacancies, in the three months to August 2022, according to Australia Bureau of Statistics. Total job vacancies were 470,900, a decrease of 2.1% from May 2022. Among the total vacancies, private sector vacancies were 425,500, a decrease of 3.3% from May 2022, while public sector vacancies were 45,300, an increase of 10.5% from May 2022.

However, despite the slight decrease in job vacancies in the three months to August, the level of job vacancies in Australia remained elevated. Job vacancies in Australia were double that that of in February 2020, prior to the start of the pandemic. “The ongoing high level of vacancies reflects organisations across the economy indicating labour shortages and ongoing disruptions to operations, particularly in household goods and services industries," Australia Bureau of Statistics said.

Across the states and territories, 28.9% of businesses in New South Wales reported vacancies as of August 2022, as compared to 11.6% in August 2020. More than 25% of businesses in Western Australia, Queensland, and Northern Territory also reported vacancies as compared to 25% across Australia overall. 

Proportion of businesses reporting vacancies, states and territories (%)   
New South Wales11.619.622.919.424.226.228.9
South Australia8.815.715.613.117.617.319.7
Western Australia15.616.321.721.522.428.325.2
Northern Territory20.721.826.520.827.831.636.5
Australian Capital Territory4.712.113.89.416.613.715.5

Source: Australia Bureau of Statistics

The industries with the percentage decrease in vacancies over the quarter ended August 2022 include construction and education and training. The industries with the increase in percentage vacancies growth include transport, postal and warehousing (17 per cent) and retail trade (15 per cent).

Proportion of businesses reporting vacancies, industry (%)      
Electricity, gas, water and waste services21.913.912.89.939.234.513.1
Wholesale trade14.015.223.622.329.516.826.1
Retail trade9.916.421.621.416.617.723.8
Accommodation and food services13.930.530.518.332.434.042.5
Transport, postal and warehousing10.720.222.015.722.422.625.8
Information media and telecommunications5.218.320.015.919.826.720.4
Financial and insurance services6.616.920.510.314.820.08.2
Rental, hiring and real estate services11.811.116.919.320.125.227.3
Professional, scientific and technical services14.814.516.415.417.618.019.4
Administrative and support services16.217.123.629.836.238.332.8
Public administration and safety27.930.042.229.833.537.937.4
Education and training10.88.611.59.79.914.68.3
Health care and social assistance8.913.423.321.218.926.733.4
Arts and recreation services2.
Other services11.121.122.828.132.732.734.4
All industries12.

Source: Australia Bureau of Statistics

Lauren Ford, head of Labour Statistics at the ABS, said: “The number of job vacancies declined by 2 per cent over the three months to August 2022, although remained elevated in historical terms and are still more than double pre-pandemic levels."

“The large growth in vacancies through the pandemic has coincided with a decline in the number of unemployed people. As a result, there were a similar number of unemployed people (488,000) to job vacancies (471,000) in August 2022, compared with three times as many unemployed people to vacancies before the start of the pandemic," Ms Ford said.

“Despite the overall quarterly decrease, the number of job vacancies continued to increase in some industries, such as Retail trade (up 15 per cent) and Accommodation and food services (up 14 per cent). This reflected ongoing labour shortages in a tight labour market, particularly in customer facing industries," Ms Ford said.

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