ABS: Job vacancies see 'relatively small decline' in November

Vacancies still higher than pre-pandemic levels, data shows

ABS: Job vacancies see 'relatively small decline' in November

The number of job vacancies in Australia declined by around one per cent between August and November, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The latest ABS data released on Wednesday revealed that there were 389,000 job vacancies in November 2023, down 3,000 from August.

This is the sixth straight quarterly drop in job vacancies in Australia, with the drop now at a total of around 18% from the peak in May 2022, according to ABS head of labour statistics David Taylor.

"However, this quarter saw a relatively small decline, compared with the eight per cent fall in August," Taylor said in a statement.

Job vacancies were also still around 71% higher than the data from the pre-COVID-19 level in February 2020, Taylor added.

Saxon Davidson, research fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs, said the data highlighted the need to lower tax rates facing Australian who want to work.

"These figures demonstrate the desperate need to finally address tax and red tape barriers currently preventing Australians who want to work from entering the workforce, specifically pensioners, veterans, and students on the Youth Allowance," Davidson said in a statement.

By sector, location

According to the ABS, both the public (-2%) and private (-1%) sectors recorded a decline in job vacancies over the three months to November.

By industry, the biggest drops in job vacancies were recorded in the Rental, hiring, and real estate services with -14%. The education and training sector also logged a -12% quarterly decline.

Only two industries saw an increase in job postings, including Mining (2%) and the public administration and safety (1%).

By location, the Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest drop of job vacancies with -17%, followed by the Northern Territory with -14%.

Overall, all states and territories in Australia saw a drop in job vacancies in the three months to November, the ABS data revealed.

Tight labour market

Meanwhile, the ABS said these findings still suggest that the labour market remains relatively tight.

For November, Taylor the number of unemployed people per job vacancy was 1.5, slightly higher than pandemic-low 1.1, but still well below the 3.1 in February 2020.

"Similarly, the most recent Labour Account data for the September quarter, showed that job vacancies still accounted for around 2.6% of jobs in the labour market, which was well above the 1.6% from the March quarter 2020," Taylor said.

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