Is gender inequality impacting fill rates?

This story was first published on Wednesday 29 November 2023.

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The spotlight in the Skills Shortage Quarterly for September 2023 examines whether gender inequality by occupation contributes to employer difficulty filling job vacancies (as measured by vacancy fill rates).     

From 2016 to 2023, gender imbalance and low fill rates had strong links for male-dominated occupations. With above 90% male workers, Automotive and Engineering Trades Workers, Construction Trades Workers, and Electrotechnology and Telecommunications Trade Workers had the lowest fill rates.

The impact of gender inequality on fill rates for female–dominated occupations was less clear cut. Highly female dominated General Clerical Workers, Inquiry Clerks and Receptionists and Numerical Clerks had high fill rates – at more than 75%. By comparison, Carers and Aides (also female dominated) had lower fill rates at around 50%.

Data in the report for the September 2023 quarter show that the fill rate for occupations has increased slightly, to 63%, but remains below that for earlier years: for example, the fill rate in September 2021 quarter was 67%. This suggests that the signs of  softening labour market conditions have not yet fully materialised at the national level.

Meanwhile, the fill rate in metropolitan areas (66%) remains well above that of regional areas (57%) and indicates that shortage pressures remain more acute in regional areas.

Read more in the full report.