26 September 2023

Statistics reveal a drop in payroll jobs

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has reported that ‘payroll jobs’ have fallen back below pre-pandemic levels across the nation.

Defined as a job where the worker is an employee of the organisation for which they work and taxes and other entitlements are withheld and paid to the government or organiser of the entitlement, the Bureau said that in the fortnight to 11 September this year, payroll jobs fell by 0.7 per cent which followed a larger fall of 1.5 per cent the previous fortnight.

Head of Labour Statistics at the ABS, Bjorn Jarvis said the series of falls in payroll jobs through July, August and into September saw payroll jobs fall back below their pre-pandemic level (0.5 per cent below).

“Apart from the seasonal fall after Christmas, payroll jobs in mid-September 2021 were the lowest they had been in Australia since the end of August 2020, during the second wave lockdown in Victoria,” Mr Jarvis said.

“Payroll jobs were below pre-pandemic levels in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, all of which had lockdowns in effect,” he said.

Mr Jarvis said the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria saw the largest falls in payroll jobs during the fortnight to 11 September (down 2.3 per cent and 1.8 per cent).

“Given Victoria’s large share of jobs in Australia, payroll job losses there accounted for almost three-quarters (71.8 per cent) of all jobs lost during the fortnight,” he said.

“Payroll job losses slowed in New South Wales, falling by 0.3 per cent in the latest fortnight, compared with the 1.6 per cent fall in the previous fortnight.”

He said people living in capital cities and surrounding areas were generally more impacted by payroll job losses than rural and regional areas.

Mr Jarvis said current pandemic-related Government support payments were paid directly to people or businesses, rather than through payrolls, which could impact the comparison of payroll job falls over the pandemic.

The ABS Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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