In the quarterly job vacancy survey, released Wedneday for November 2022, the ABS revealed that 27.7% of businesses had at least one outstanding vacancy, up from 26.7% in August.

Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS, said that the results "continue to show the high demand for workers across many businesses and all industries, in a tight labour market."

The Australian labour market still heavily favours jobseekers, with the results continuing an almost uninterrupted upward trend since peak pandemic in May 2020, where the demand for workers was heavily diminished.

Labour market.JPG

However, there was also a slight decrease in the total number of vacant positions, suggesting the labour market may be beginning to correct itself.

From the survey results, the ABS estimates that there are currently 444,200 job vacancies in Australia, down 4.9% from August.

This was driven by the private sector, which saw a 6% decline in vacant positions, from around 422,100 to 396,800.

Conversely, the public sector saw a 6% increase from August, moving from 44,700 to 47,400.

Mr Jarvis said the number of vacant positions remained far above recent years.

"Despite falling recently, the number of job vacancies in November was 12% higher than November 2021 (398,000) and almost double what they were in February 2020 (228,000), prior to the COVID-19 pandemic," Mr Jarvis said.

See Also: The Great Resignation - is it real?

Which industries are missing staff the most?

Accommodation and food services was the industry with the greatest excess demand for staff, with 45.3% of businesses having unfilled positions.

This was followed by Administrative and support services (36.8%), Public administration and safety (35%) and Retail trade (31.5%).

Several other industries saw large increases over the quarter.

In August, 13.1% of Electricity, gas, water and waste services companies reported at least one vacancy.

November data shows this number is now 31%.

On the other hand, the number of healthcare and social assistance entities needing staff went from 33.4% in August to 17.5%.

Why are companies missing staff?

Replacement and resignations continue to be the number one source of unfilled jobs.

Of those companies with at least one vacancy, 77.1% reported at least one was due to a staff member who had left the company and not been replaced.

The next most common reason companies needed more staff than they had was an increased workload, with 44% of companies citing this.

This was followed by business expansion, which saw 25.6% of businesses create unfilled jobs.


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