Australian Job Vacancies Decrease

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Sydney, Sept 28: New figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveal that there were 390,000 job vacancies in August 2023, marking a decline of 38,000 from May.
Kate Lamb, ABS head of labour statistics, highlighted, “The number of job vacancies fell by around 9 percent between May and August, and has dropped by 18 percent from the peak in May 2022.”
She further commented, “Demand for workers eased again in August for the fifth straight quarter. This coincided with an increase in the unemployment rate over the three months to August.”
“While these indicators are no longer at historical levels, both are still showing that the labor market is tighter than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lamb added.
“Job vacancies were still around 72 percent higher than they were in February 2020. That’s still around 160,000 more jobs that employers are looking for people to fill, as part of a pool of almost 400,000 vacancies.”
“The percentage of businesses reporting at least one vacancy also fell from 25 percent in May to 22 percent in August. However, this was still double what it was in February 2020 at 11 percent,” Lamb said.

Regional Variations:

  • Job vacancies in both public and private sectors declined over the three months to August. Public sector vacancies fell by 3,000 (-6 percent) while the private sector fell by 35,000 (-9 percent).
  • The Australian Capital Territory saw the largest percentage drop in job vacancies (-8 percent) while Queensland was the only state to see growth (4 percent).

Industry-Specific Trends:

  • Financial and insurance services showed the largest drop in job vacancies (-15 percent) in this quarter. This sector is also the only one with vacancies lower than they were in February 2020.
  • However, some industries experienced growth in August, with the largest increase in vacancies occurring in Retail trade, which rose by 19 percent. Many industries maintained high job vacancy levels compared to pre-COVID times, particularly in customer-facing sectors like Arts and recreation services and Accommodation and food services.

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