Australia: Employment Insights, February 2024


482 Visa, employment, skill shortage list, skill shortages, skilled migrants, TSS,


Dive into a detailed analysis of the current employment market in Australia which focuses on migrant employment as well as demand for sponsored workers.

Over the 12 months to November 2023, employment opportunities and growth varied widely across industries.

Over the five years to December 2023, online job vacancies in capital cities increased by 24.3% compared with a staggering 93.6% in regional Australia.

The largest increases in trend employment occurred in Health Care and Social Assistance (up by 127,400), Construction (up by 67,800) and Manufacturing (up by 49,400). The largest decreases in employment occurred in Accommodation and Food Services (down by 18,200), Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (down by 6,600) and Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services (down by 4,300).

The strongest rates of employment growth were in Arts and Recreation Services (up by 7.5%), Health Care and Social Assistance (up by 6.1%) and Manufacturing (up by 5.6%).

The robust growth of youth employment seen in peak demand periods of 2022 has eased considerably throughout 2023, as seen in fewer entry-level roles which are often filled by young people.

Occupation by state/territory

In November 2023, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) had the highest share (59.9%) of employed workers in selected occupation groups (i.e. Managers, Professionals, and Technicians and Trade Workers), followed by Victoria (54.8%) and New South Wales (NSW, 53.9%).

In the 12 months to November 2023, the share of workers employed in these selected occupation groups increased in all states and territories except for NSW (down by 0.3pp). The largest increases were in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT, up by 0.8pp), Tasmania (up by 0.7pp) and Northern Territory (NT, up by 0.7pp). Increases were also estimated for the remaining states, South Australia (SA, up by 0.5pp), Queensland (up by 0.4pp) Western Australia (WA, up by 0.3pp) and Victoria (up by 0.2pp).


The trend unemployment rate in Australia was 3.8% in November 2023, compared with 3.5% in November 2022.

Over the 12 months to November 2023, the unemployment rate decreased in SA (4.0% to 3.7%). The unemployment rate rose in NSW (3.2% to 3.4%), Victoria (3.7% to 3.9%), Queensland (3.6% to 4.3%), WA (3.6% to 3.7%), Tasmania (3.9% to 4.1%), NT (3.7% to 4.4%) and the ACT (2.9% to 3.7%).

Migrant employment

Australian-born people represent the highest share of employed people in Tasmania (84.6%) and the lowest share in WA (59.7%). The share of employed people born in other than main English-speaking countries (OTMESC) is highest in Victoria, NSW and the NT (29.8%, 27.7% and 27.5% respectively).

MESC – Mainly English Speaking Countries OTMESC – Other Than Main English Speaking Countries

Temporary skill visas and Australia’s regional labour market

Below is an overview of the number of primary temporary skill shortage (TSS, Subclass 482) and temporary work skilled (Subclass 457) visas granted to overseas workers to help meet workforce needs in Australia.

This analysis, which covers the five years 2018-19 to 2022-23, identifies the skilled occupations that are highly demanded by approved employers in the Australian regions.

The demand by approved employers to recruit overseas workers to positions as information and communications technology (ICT) professionals was greater in Major Cities where Software Engineers, ICT Business Analysts and Developer Programmers accounted for 16% of the total number of primary temporary skilled visas granted over the five-year period.

Demand by employers for health professionals was highest for Resident Medical Officers, which represented 9% of visas granted for Inner Regional areas, 7% for Outer Regional areas and 4% for each of the other regions (Major Cities, Remote and Very Remote).

Chefs (4%) and Cooks (2%) were in demand by employers in all regions, accounting for a total of 6% of total primary temporary skilled visas granted over the five-year period.

Demand for Diesel Motor Mechanics was greater in Remote and Outer Regional areas with 10% and 4% respectively of the primary temporary skilled visas granted for these regions. Demand for Fitter (General) was greater in Remote areas accounting for 7% of the visas granted for these regions.

The occupation profile for Very Remote areas reflects the main employing sectors and included Mining Engineers (9%), Geotechnical Engineers (4%) and Deck Hands (4%).

Occupations with highest growth in demand for temporary skilled visas

A comparison of the number of primary temporary skilled visas granted before (2018-19) and after (2022-23) the COVID-19 pandemic, shows that the occupations with the highest growth in demand for these skilled visas by region were: Medical Practitioners in Major Cities (up by 556%), University Lecturer in Inner Regional areas (up by 583%), Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency) in Outer Regional areas (up by 330%), Mining Engineers in Remote areas (up by 276%) and Registered Nurse (Medical) in Very Remote areas (up by 345%).

Location of sponsored workers

Employers in Regional and Very Remote areas sponsored a higher proportion of primary temporary skilled workers, with most applicants being offshore (Very Remote, 66%, Inner Regional, 56% and Outer Regional, 54%).

In comparison, employers in Major Cities and Remote areas were more likely to sponsor primary temporary skilled workers who were already in Australia with 55% of Major Cities’ temporary skilled visas granted and 54% of Remote areas’ workers recruited onshore.

Source: © Commonwealth of Australia, Australian Labour Market for Migrants

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