Skills Shortages Analysis

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    Jobs and Skills Australia leads work on skills shortage analysis including the annual Skills Priority List and reports on Skills Shortages.

    The Skills Priority List (SPL) provides a detailed view of occupations in shortage in Australian and by each state and territory including the future demand for occupations in Australia. The SPL is released annually as a point-in-time assessment of the labour market. 

    Key Findings

    The Key Findings Report provides a high level overview of results from the 2023 SPL focussing on the themes that emerged during its production.


    2023 SPL Key Findings Report.pdf

    2023 SPL Key Findings Report.pdf901083


    2023 SPL Key Findings Report.docx

    2023 SPL Key Findings Report.docx5074336


    Stakeholder Submission Snapshot

    The Stakeholder Submission Snapshot is a new report summarising findings from the stakeholder survey which is one of the main inputs informing the SPL. The survey targets employers, peak bodies, industry groups, professional organisations, unions, regional representative bodies, and education and training advisory bodies.


    SPL 2023 - Stakeholder submissions snapshot.pdf

    SPL 2023 - Stakeholder submissions snapshot.pdf248592


    SPL 2023 - Stakeholder submissions snapshot.docx

    SPL 2023 - Stakeholder submissions snapshot.docx146526


    Skills Shortage Drivers

    Skill Shortage Drivers are designed help you identify the potential causes or drivers of occupations rated ‘in shortage’ in the Skills Priority List. 

    The SSD classifies skills shortages into four main drivers based on the likeliest cause of shortage. The four categories are:

    • Long Training Gap 
    • Short Training Gap
    • Suitability Gap
    • Retention Gap.

    Skills Shortage Drivers - A companion paper - March 2024.docx



    Skills Shortage Drivers - A companion paper - March 2024.PDF



    Stakeholder survey

    The 2024 SPL Stakeholder Survey is now closed. The survey targeted employers, peak bodies, industry groups, professional organisations, unions, regional representative bodies, and education and training advisory bodies.

    Methodology Paper

    The Methodology Paper provides a deep understanding of the methodology used to create the 2023 SPL particularly the occupation ratings. The paper describes the scope of the SPL, definition used for occupation shortages listed in the SPL, sources used in the occupation assessments and how that body of evidence is used to produce occupation ratings.


    2023 SPL Methodology

    2023 SPL Methodology.pdf722632


    2023 SPL Methodology

    2023 SPL Methodology.docx1238801


    Data downloads

    Skills Priority List - September 2023 - Historical.xlsx

    Skills Priority List - September 2023 - Historical.xlsx355249


    Skills Priority List - September 2023.xlsx

    Skills Priority List - September 2023.xlsx134607



    Taking account of all available information a labour market rating is determined for each occupation.

    Ratings are provided nationally and for each state and territory. Where there is evidence suggesting occupations in shortage are confined to regional locations this is reflected in the rating. The term regional refers to areas outside of state and territory capital cities.

    An occupation may be assessed as being in shortage even though not all specialisations are in shortage. Similarly, a rating of national shortage does not mean that employers in every geographical location have difficulty recruiting.

    While an occupation can be considered in shortage it is still possible that job seekers can face significant competition for positions (due to the level of experience or specialisations required). Similarly, employers can still have difficulty recruiting for occupations that are not in shortage.

    The SPL provides the following ratings of the current labour market for occupations where sufficient data are available to make an assessment.


    Shortages exist when employers are unable to fill or have considerable difficulty filling vacancies for an occupation, or significant specialised skill needs within that occupation, at current levels of remuneration and conditions of employment and in reasonably accessible locations.

    In some instances shortages may be apparent in particular specialisations within the occupation but otherwise shortages are not apparent. In these instances, provided there is sufficient evidence, that occupation will still be considered in shortage.

    Regional Shortage

    Shortages are restricted to regional areas.

    No Shortage

    Research has not identified any significant difficulty filling vacancies. For some occupations a lack of evidence overall will by default result in an occupation being rated as No Shortage.

    The SPL is designed to help policy makers and education and training developers understand the skills needs of the Australian economy and may be used to inform a range of labour market advice Jobs and Skills Australia provides. The SPL is a publicly available tool.

    The 2023 SPL is aligned to the new ANZSCO 2022 classification and includes ratings for 916 occupations, compared to 914 occupations for the SPL 2022 which was aligned to the ANZSCO 2021 classification. The 2021 SPL included ratings for 799 occupations in the ANZSCO 2013, Version 1.3. Therefore some occupations on the 2023 and 2022 SPL will not appear on the 2021 SPL.

    In addition to the SPL stakeholder survey we are happy to engage with various stakeholders on an ongoing basis. Please email us at to request a meeting.

    The SPL stakeholder survey is targeted towards peak bodies, industry and business groups, professional organisations, unions, regional representative bodies and education and training advisory organisations. We are seeking to gauge the issues and concerns employer members may be facing through their respective representative body. If you or other representative bodies would like to be included in this process please let us know by emailing

    Please note the SPL stakeholder survey for 2024 is now closed.

    You are in the best position to help us understand the skills needs of the industry, occupation or region you represent.

    We are primarily looking for information on the number of advertised vacancies, number of applicants and numbers of vacant positions filled. Where and why employers are having difficulty filling positions, including information on current and likely future labour supply constraints and demand for occupations are also very helpful. However, if there is something important that we need to know about an occupation when we undertake the consultation process, please tell us, including on new sources of reliable labour market data that you may be aware of.

    Jobs and Skills Australia complies with all relevant provisions of the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988. Jobs and Skills Australia sits with the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations. The department’s privacy page can be found at and includes key information regarding how we handle your personal information. If you have any questions about the confidentiality of your information and data collected in this process please email at

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) classifies occupations through the Australian New Zealand Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) hierarchical classification system. 

    ANZSCO is a skill-based classification used to classify all occupations and jobs in the Australian and New Zealand labour markets. 

    ANZSCO classifies occupations according to their attributes and groups them on the basis of their similarity into 8 major groups (1 digit ANZSCO or ANZSCO1), which are then disaggregated into sub-major groups (2 digit ANZSCO), minor groups (3 digit ANZSCO), unit groups (4 digit ANZSCO), and occupations (6 digit ANZSCO). 

    More detailed information about ANZSCO can be found on the ABS website Conceptual basis of ANZSCO.

    You can explore the SPL at either the Unit Group level (4 digit)or the Occupations level (6 digit). The official SPL shortage ratings are at the Occupation level.

    The 4 digit level is useful for research and policy analysis when other data and evidence are often available at 4 digit level too.

    The 6 digit level provides information about the likely shortage status of a specific occupation. 

    Due to data limitations, the data on Skills Shortage Drivers is only available at the 4 digit level.

    The 4 digit level (Unit Group) SPL shortage ratings are aggregated from 6 digit level (Occupation) results. The process is based on the proportion of people working in each 6 digit Occupation that make up the 4 digit Unit Group (based on the 2021 Census). 

    If an Occupation is in shortage, and it comprises a majority of total employment in its Unit Group, then the Unit Group will also be rated as in shortage, and the same applies for other rating types (no shortage, regional shortage).

    Where an Occupation makes up a smaller proportion of total employment in its Unit Group, it may have a different rating to the Unit Group as a whole. 

    This process is repeated for every state and territory and at the national level.

    Skill Shortage Drivers (SSD) is experimental and has been designed to help you identify the potential causes or drivers of occupations rated ‘in shortage’ in the Skills Priority List. 

    The SSD classifies skills shortages into four main drivers based on the likeliest cause of shortage. The four categories are:

    • Long Training Gap 
    • Short Training Gap
    • Suitability Gap
    • Retention Gap.

    A fifth category ‘Yet to be Determined’ is also included. 

    The two ‘Training Gap’ categories

    Occupations that may be in shortage due to a lack of qualified applicants. These shortages can be partially addressed by employers by increasing employee retention, but solutions will largely come from policy and educational providers. 

    The ‘Suitability Gap’ category

    Even if an applicant possesses the requisite qualifications, an employer may still deem them to be unsuitable for the job. They may still lack the skills or the experience that the employer has deemed necessary. 

    The ‘Retention Gap’ category

    A retention gap occurs when there is a sufficient number of people with the requisite skills, qualifications, and experience to fill vacancies in each occupation, but they are unwilling to accept offers from employers under the current conditions.

    For more detail, see theSkills Shortage Drivers - A companion paper - March 2024.PDF

    Feedback and consultation

    If you would like to provide feedback, share information, know more about the SPL process, how you can inform assessment of occupations for future SPLs, or have any other questions, you can email us directly at

    An indicative annual timeline for ongoing consultation is:

    Timing Activity
    November to February Stakeholder Survey for 2024 is now closed
    June to July Draft SPL tested with State, Territory and Federal agencies, and Jobs and Skills Councils
    Ongoing Face to face or digital engagement with stakeholders as appropriate
    Ongoing Engage with Federal Government and state and territory government agencies and JSCs, including through working groups, as appropriate.


    Skills Shortage Quarterly Report

    The Skills Shortage Quarterly (SSQ) report offers analysis on occupation shortage pressures using data from Jobs and Skills Australia’s Survey of Employers who Recently Advertised. The insights in the SSQ complement skill shortage discussions in Jobs and Skills Australia’s the Key Findings Report that accompanies the annual SPL and quarterly Labour Market Update report.