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Jobs and Skills Atlas

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This tool provides an overview of the Australian labour market at the national, state/territory and regional level. As some of the data is based on small sample sizes, the information can be volatile, so use with caution. See .

About

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Jobs and Skills Atlas provides an overview of the labour market at national, state and regional level by occupation, skills and industry.

The Atlas uses Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) standardised geographical Statistical Areas Level 4 (SA4s) to classify regions, as this classification is compatible with a lot of the data sets that feed into the tool.
SA4s are geographical areas with interlocking boundaries that provide a standardised regional breakdown of Australia. SA4s generally have populations of between 100,000 and 500,000 people. There are 88 SA4s for which data is presented in the Atlas (noting that Labour Force Survey data for Western Australia – Outback (North) and Western Australia – Outback (South) relate to the combined area/populations of both regions).


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Definitions

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%pts - Percentage Points

% share - % Share is the proportion of the population who work in a given industry.

Education - The Level of Highest Educational Attainment of people aged 15-64 years who are not currently attending primary or secondary school

Employment - The level of employment is an estimate of the number of people aged 15 years and over who, in the reference week: worked for one hour or more for pay, profit or payment in kind; worked for one hour or more without pay in a family business or on a farm; were owner-managers who were away from their work; who had a job but were away from work for less than four weeks, or for more than four weeks but had received pay for some or all of the last four weeks; or who had a job but were away from work as part of a standard work or shift arrangement, because of being on strike/locked out, or on worker’s compensation and expected to return to their job.
See also Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Labour Force Survey.

Employment to population ratio - the proportion of the civilian population that is employed in the age range indicated (this is generally 15-64 years old).

Level of Highest Education Attainment - This variable from the 2021 census records a single measure of a person’s overall highest level of educational attainment, whether it be a school or non-school qualification. It helps to build a picture of educational attainment and qualifications across Australia. It has been grouped into:

  • Below year 12 (incl. Cert I/II)
  • Year 12
  • Certificate III & IV
  • Advanced diploma and diploma
  • Bachelor degree or above
Responses of ‘Inadequately described’ and ‘Not Stated’ have been excluded

Indigenous - This variable from the 2021 Census records the response of persons who identified themselves as being of Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin in the Census.

Not in the Labour Force - People who were not in the categories employed or unemployed. They include people who undertook unpaid household duties or other voluntary work only, were retired, voluntarily inactive and those permanently unable to work.

Participation rate - The participation rate is the proportion of the civilian population aged 15 and over that is in the labour force (the sum of employment and unemployment). It is important to bear in mind that the demographic structure of a region can have a significant influence on that region’s participation rate (for example, all else being equal, a region with a large proportion of elderly retirees will have a lower participation rate than a region with a smaller proportion of elderly retirees).
See also Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Labour Force Survey.

Population (15+) (or Civilian Population) - All usual residents of Australia aged 15 years and over except:

  • members of the permanent defence forces
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments customarily excluded from census and estimated population counts;
  • overseas residents in Australia; and
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants) stationed in Australia

Statistical Area Level 4 - A Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4) is a geographic area representing the largest sub-state regions in the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). SA4 regions were initially designed specifically for the dissemination of ABS Labour Force Survey data, with each area representing a labour market or group of labour markets within a State or Territory.

Sex - A person's sex is based on their sex characteristics at birth, such as their chromosomes, hormones and reproductive organs. If sex is not stated it is imputed.

Skills Priority List (SPL) - Released annually, the SPL identifies occupations in Australia that are in shortage, while also providing an assessment of future demand through labour market rating. The ratings are:

  • No Shortage (NS) - Research has not identified any significant difficulty filling vacancies.
  • Metropolitan Shortage (M) - Shortages (as defined above) are restricted to metropolitan areas.
  • Regional Shortage (R) - Shortages (as defined above) are restricted to regional areas.
  • Shortage (S) - 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.

Please refer to Caveat section for more detail on the SPL and labour market ratings.

Unemployment rate - The unemployment rate is the proportion of the labour force (the sum of employment and unemployment) classified as unemployed by the ABS. To be classified as unemployed by the ABS, a person has to be aged 15 years and over, not already be classified as employed (see above), available for work, and either had actively looked for work in the last four weeks or were waiting to start a job within the next four weeks, and could have started in the reference week if the job was available.
See also Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Labour Force Survey.

Vacancy rate- is ratio of online job ads (IVI) to employment at the regional level (NERO).

Working age population – All the usual residents of Australia aged 15 to 64 years old, excluding the categories already noted under Population (15+).

Youth Unemployment Rate – the unemployment rate for persons aged 15 to 24 years old.

Caveats

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Internet Vacancy Index

The Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) is an indicator for labour demand, counting job advertisements newly lodged on the SEEK, CareerOne and Australian JobSearch online jobs boards during the reference month. However there are some important conceptual limitations that must be considered when interpreting the data. The IVI does not:

  • reflect the total number of job advertisements in the Australian labour market
  • account for jobs advertised through other online job boards, employer websites, social media, newspapers, or other informal methods such as word-of-mouth
  • take account of multiple positions being advertised in a single job advertisement

Job vacancies and job advertisements are different. Some employment opportunities are not advertised by employers, who may instead fill their vacancies via internal promotion or alternative recruitment methods.

Online job advertisements can be slightly biased towards higher skilled positions. Employers with lower skilled vacancies tend to use informal recruitment methods like social media or word-of-mouth more regularly.

IVI data, particularly disaggregated by occupation or region, can exhibit considerable volatility on a month-to-month basis, and are also prone to significant seasonal patterns. Accordingly, JSA have used a 3 month average for IVI data aggregated to SA4, while a 6 month IVI average was used for SA4 and occupation.

Please note that IVI data presented at the SA4 level are an experimental series that have been created by corresponding data from the 37 IVI regions across to the 88 ABS SA4s. Accordingly, these estimates a subject to a degree of estimation error.

Unless specifically indicated, all data points, calculated metrics, and percentages, are determined using unrounded values with rounding applied before display.

Labour Force Survey

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Labour Force Survey (LFS) statistics are based on a multi¬stage area sample of approximately 24,000 private dwellings, discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and non¬private dwellings (including hotels, hospitals and retirement villages) resulting in a total sample of about 50,000 people. Estimates of subdivisions within this group are often based on small sample counts and can be quite volatile. Small estimates should be used with caution.

While the LFS includes regional data in its output, it is designed primarily to produce statistics at the state/territory level and higher. Accordingly, the regional data in the LFS have relatively small sample sizes, and the sample is not designed to produce estimates of a consistent quality for all regions. The regional LFS figures can, therefore, be subject to considerable sampling and other statistical variability, the degree to which can vary by region.

The LFS statistics are based on the place of usual residence of the people being surveyed, and this may not be the same location as someone’s place of work, particularly for SA4s in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Other than employed people, the overall unemployment rate and the participation rate for the Australian Capital Territory (for which monthly, seasonally adjusted data are available), it is worth bearing in mind that for SA4s:

  • While the figures presented in the Jobs and Skills Atlas have been averaged over 6 months, or 12 months for SA4 figures disaggregated by age (e.g., youth unemployment rates (15-24); 25-54 year old participation rates) or sex, to help reduce the inherent volatility in the original data, some estimates will still be subject to considerable statistical variability and should be viewed with significant caution. This is particularly the case for SA4 figures by sex and age groups, which due to statistical variability may not reflect actual labour market conditions for those sex or age groups in the SA4.
  • The figures are not adjusted for seasonal variations. Given this, it is preferable to make year-on-year comparisons, within the same time series, as movements between different months of the year may be influenced by seasonal factors.
  • Youth unemployment rates at the SA4 level are generally based on very small sample sizes and, as a result, are subject to very high levels of volatility. Given this, youth unemployment rates (and their movements) at the SA4 level may not reflect actual up-to-date youth labour market conditions in the SA4 and should be interpreted with a high degree of caution.

It is also important to note that data averaged over 3, 6 or 12 months does not accurately or quickly detect turning points in the regional data during periods of significant change (such as during COVID-19 related lockdowns).

The ABS provides substantial guidance on the data from the LFS more generally, and on using regional estimates from the LFS. JSA recommends that users of these data familiarise themselves with the advice, linked below.

Labour Force Australia, Detailed | Australian Bureau of Statistics (abs.gov.au)

ABS Advice on Using Regional LFS Data

The Jobs and Skills Atlas also contains state/territory and national labour market indicators from the LFS. These figures are seasonally adjusted (except for the employment to population ratio for persons aged 15-64 by state/territory, which are three-month averages of original, monthly estimates and youth unemployment rate which are twelve-month averages of original estimates) and are sourced from the ABS Labour Force, Australia publication. More information on this release, including explanatory material can be found at: Labour Force, Australia | Australian Bureau of Statistics (abs.gov.au).

Unless specifically indicated, all data points, calculated metrics, and percentages, are determined using unrounded values with rounding applied before display.

Breakdown of Sex
Data values for sex are derived from Labour Force, Australia published by the ABS.

The ABS has committed to implementing the Standard for Sex, Gender, Variations of Sex Characteristics and Sexual Orientation Variables, 2020 in the future.

Breakdown of Age
Figures are shown for the age groups 15-24 (the same age group as the youth unemployment rate figure), 25-54, 55 and over, except for employment to population ratio. Employment to population ratio age breakdowns are calculated for the age groups 15-24, 25-54, 55-64.

Nowcast of Employment by Region and Occupation

The Nowcast of Employment by Region and Occupation (NERO) series provides monthly estimates of occupational employment by region that was previously only readily available every five years from the ABS Census of Population and Housing. As an experimental series, the NERO estimates have been smoothed to provide an indication of long-term trends in local labour markets. The JSA encourages users to utilise a combination of data sources alongside NERO (such as the JSA Internet Vacancy Index, Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey, ABS Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages and ABS Labour Force Survey) to analyse current labour market trends. Please see NERO Dashboard for more caveat information.

The JSA encourages users to utilise a combination of data sources alongside NERO (such as the JSA Internet Vacancy Index, Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey, ABS Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages and ABS Labour Force Survey) to analyse current labour market trends. Please see NERO Dashboard for more caveat information.

NERO data is based on the 15th of each month.

Comparing IVI data (vacancies) and NERO data (employment)

IVI data occupation vacancies are based on 'place of work', while NERO data for employment is based on 'place of usual residence'. Therefore, misalignments occur, causing data at the SA4 level to not accurately reflect vacancies by residency. This effect is particularly relevant in the case of Capital Cities.

Accordingly, vacancies and employment by occupation are not strictly comparable.

Skills Priority List

Released annually, the Skills Priority List (SPL) identifies occupations in Australia that are in shortage, while also providing an assessment of future demand through labour market rating. The ratings are:

  • Shortage (S) - 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, the occupation will still be considered in shortage
  • Regional Shortage (R) - Shortages (as defined above) are restricted to regional areas.
  • No Shortage (NS) - 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’.

Where there is evidence suggesting variation between metropolitan and regional locations this is reflected in the rating. The term metropolitan area refers to state and territory capital cities and regional refers to the rest of the state or territory. 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.

Unless specifically indicated, all data points, calculated metrics, and percentages, are determined using unrounded values with rounding applied before display.

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Labour Market

The ABS only releases Labour Force Survey data for the combined region of Western Australia – Outback (North and South). Accordingly, the Unemployment Rate, Employment to Population Ratio, Youth Unemployment Rate, Participation Rate, Population (15+ years), and Employment (total and by Industry) for this region is for the combined region of Western Australia – Outback (North and South).

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Source:
Australia:
ABS Labour Force Australia, seasonally adjusted data.

Regions (SA4s):

ABS Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, 6-month averages of original estimates, except for the youth unemployment rate, which is a 12-month average of original estimates.

Data for the ACT are from ABS, Labour Force, Australia, seasonally adjusted data, except for the employment to population ratio which is a 3-month average of original data and the youth unemployment rate which is a 12-month average of original data.

Please select a region to view more.

Industries

The ABS only releases Labour Force Survey data for the combined region of Western Australia – Outback (North and South). Accordingly, the Unemployment Rate, Employment to Population Ratio, Youth Unemployment Rate, Participation Rate, Population (15+ years), and Employed People (total and by Industry) for this region is for the combined region of Western Australia - Outback (North and South).

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Source:

ABS, Labour Force Survey, detailed, November 2022, table RQ1 (quarterly data), four-quarter averages of original estimates.

For ACT, industry data is from ABS, Labour Force Survey, detailed, November 2022, original estimates from table 05 for state and territories data (quarterly data).
ABS, Labour Force Survey, detailed, November 2022, table 04 for national data (seasonally adjusted data).

Estimates are often based on small sample counts and can be quite volatile. Small estimates should be used with caution.

Please select a region to view more.

Occupations

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Data needs to be interpreted with caution due to the combination of different data sources. Please note vacancy numbers are estimates and may not reflect the actual number of open positions. For more information, see .

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Source:

Employment (nowcast) data is from NERO, based on the 15th of each month.

Job vacancies data is from the Internet Vacancy Index (IVI), and a 6 month moving average was applied.

Please note that rounding of figures may cause minor data discrepancies.

Vacancy rate is calculated before rounding.

Please select a region to view more.

Skills

Source:

Jobs and Skills Australia, November 2022:

  • Hours worked (weekly) by occupation is from Labour Force, Detailed release, Table EQ08 (a four-quarter average of original estimates).
  • Employment count at the regional level is from NERO, based on the 15th of each month.
  • Employment count at the national level is from EQ08, based on the most recent quarterly release, four-quarter average of original estimates.
  • Percentage of time on tasks (skill cluster families) in occupations is from the Australian Skills Classification (ASC).

We’re working on making direct downloads available. In the interim, data can be downloaded from the relevant sources.

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Labour Market

ABS - Labour Force, Australia, Detailed
RM1 - Labour force status by Age, Labour market region (ASGS) and Sex, October 1998 onwards

ABS - Labour Force, Australia
GM1 - Labour force status and Gross changes (flows) by Age, Sex, State and Territory, July 2003 to June 2023
Table 12. Labour force status by Sex, State and Territory - Trend, Seasonally adjusted and Original
Table 12a. Labour force status by Sex, Territory - Seasonally adjusted
Table 13. Labour force status for 15-24 year olds by Sex - Trend, Seasonally adjusted and Original
Table 16. Labour force status for 15-24 year olds by State, Territory and Educational attendance (full-time)
Table 18. Labour force status for 15-64 year olds by Sex - Trend, Seasonally adjusted and Original
Table 22. Underutilised persons by Age and Sex - Trend, Seasonally adjusted and Original

ABS - Census data 2021
Australian Bureau of Statistics (19 November 2021), TableBuilder, ABS Website, accessed 01 August 2023.

Industries

ABS - Labour Force, Australia, Detailed
RQ1 - Employed persons by Industry division of main job (ANZSIC), Labour market region (ASGS) and Sex, Annual averages of the preceding four quarters, Year to August 1999 onwards
Table 04. Employed persons by Industry division of main job (ANZSIC) - Trend, Seasonally adjusted, and Original
Table 05. Employed persons by State, Territory and Industry division of main job (ANZSIC)

Occupations

Jobs and Skills Australia - Nowcast of Employment by Region and Occupation (NERO)
Employment counts for ANZSCO 4-digit occupation classes in SA4 regions

Jobs and Skills Australia - Internet Vacancy Index
Internet Vacancies, ANZSCO4 Occupations, States and Territories

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Labour Market

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Source:
Australia: ABS Labour Force Australia, seasonally adjusted data.

States and Territories:

ABS Labour Force, Australia, seasonally adjusted data, except for the employment to population ratio which is a 3-month average of original data and the youth unemployment rate, which is a 12-month average of original data.

Please select a region to view more.

Industries

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Source:

Australia
ABS Labour Force, Australia-Detailed November 2022 table 04. Figures are seasonally-adjusted.

State and territories
Industries: ABS, Labour Force, detailed November 2022 table 05, original quarterly estimates.
Estimates are often based on small sample counts and can be quite volatile. Small estimates should be used with caution.

Please select a region to view more.

Occupations

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Employment nowcast data is unavailable at a state and national level. Please note vacancy numbers are estimates and may not reflect the actual number of open positions. For more information, see .

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Source:

Jobs and Skills Australia, November 2022:

Job vacancies data is from the Internet Vacancy Index (IVI), (seasonally adjusted).

Please note that rounding of figures may cause minor data discrepancies.

Please select a region to view more.

Skills

Source:

Jobs and Skills Australia, November 2022, and ABS, Labour Force, Detailed release, Table EQ08 (quarterly data)

Please select a region to view more.

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Source:

Labour Force: ABS Labour Force, Australia, Detailed. Data are 6-month averages of original estimates except for the youth unemployment rate, which is a 12-month average of original data.

Data for the ACT are from ABS, Labour Force, Australia and are seasonally adjusted, except for the employment to population ratio which is a 3-month average of original data and the youth unemployment rate which is a 12-month average of original data.

Industries: ABS, Labour Force Survey, detailed, June 2023 table RQ1 (quarterly data), four-quarter averages of original estimates.

For ACT, industry data is from ABS, Labour Force Survey, detailed, original estimates from table 05 for state and territories data (quarterly data). ABS, Labour Force Survey, detailed, June 2023, table 04 for national data (seasonally adjusted data).

Occupations: Employment (nowcast) data is from NERO, based on the 15th of each month.

Job vacancies data is from the Internet Vacancy Index (IVI), and a 6 month moving average was applied.

Please note that rounding of figures may cause minor data discrepancies.

Vacancy rate is calculated before rounding.

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Source:

Labour Force: ABS, Labour Force, Australia, seasonally adjusted data, except for the employment to population ratio which is a 3-month average of original data and the youth unemployment rate, which is a 12-month average of original data.

Industries: ABS Labour Force, Detailed, original quarterly estimates.

Occupations: Jobs and Skills Australia, June 2023.

Job vacancies data is from the Internet Vacancy Index (IVI), (seasonally adjusted).

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Source:

Labour Force: ABS, Labour Force, Australia, seasonally adjusted data.

Industries: ABS Labour Force, Australia-Detailed, table 04. Figures are seasonally adjusted.

Occupations: Jobs and Skills Australia, June 2023.

Job vacancies data is from the Internet Vacancy Index (IVI), (seasonally adjusted).

Please note that rounding of figures may cause minor data discrepancies.

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Alternatively, feel free to browse individual region statistics at either a or level.

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