There were 480,000 job vacancies in Australia in May 2022, 58,000 more than in February 2022, and more than double the vacancies in pre-pandemic February 2020 (227,000), according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Manufacturing had 136% more job vacancies in May 2022 than in February 2020.
“The number of job vacancies rose by 14 per cent over the three months to May 2022, to almost half a million jobs,” said Bjorn Jarvis, head of Labour Statistics at the ABS.
“This reflected increasing demand for workers, particularly in customer facing roles, with businesses continuing to face disruptions to their operations, as well as ongoing labour shortages.”
In addition to a higher number of vacancies, the percentage of businesses reporting at least one vacancy also increased.
“A quarter of businesses reported having at least one vacancy in May 2022," Jarvis said. "This rate was more than double the pre-pandemic level in February 2020 (11 per cent), which highlights the extent to which businesses are finding it more difficult to find staff.
“The large growth in vacancies through the pandemic has coincided with a decline in the number of unemployed people. As a result, there was almost the same number of unemployed people and vacant jobs in May 2022 (1.1 unemployed people per vacant job), compared with three times as many people before the start of the pandemic (3.1).”
The largest growth in job vacancies was in Victoria, which increased by 18 per cent over the three months to May 2022, followed by New South Wales (12 per cent).
While job vacancies were considerably higher than before the pandemic in all industries, the extent of quarterly growth varied between industries.
The industries with the highest growth in vacancies over the quarter were Retail trade (38 per cent), Information media and telecommunications services (18 per cent) and Arts and recreation services (16 per cent). Manufacturing bucked the quarterly trend, with 5.5% less vacancies to May 2022.