The Australian Employment Market – October 2023 Update

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Australia’s labour market conditions were strong over 2022-23 with continuing strong demand from employers and growth in labour supply. However, weaker economic growth and other forward indicators, suggest the Australian labour market is softening and will likely experience subdued conditions over the period ahead.

Latest data from Jobs and Skills Australia’s September Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) shows underlying labour market conditions easing with online job advertisements decreasing nationally, and across most regions. The number of internet vacancies remains at relatively high levels historically.

Over the 12 months to August 2023, employment opportunities and growth varied widely across industries. The largest increases in trend employment occurred in Health Care and Social Assistance (up by 107,600), Manufacturing (up by 77,200) and Construction (up by 70,300).

The largest decreases in employment occurred in Administrative and Support Services (down by 22,200), Other Services (down by 13,500) and Information Media and Telecommunications (down by 10,800).


Over the 12 months to August 2023, the unemployment rate decreased in SA (4.2% to 3.9%) and NT (3.9% to 3.7%). The unemployment rate rose in Queensland (3.6% to 4.1%), Tasmania (4.0% to 4.4%), WA (3.3% to 3.6%) and ACT (3.1% to 3.2%). The unemployment rate remained the same in NSW (3.6%) and Victoria (3.3%).

Migrant Employment

Australian-born people represent the highest share of employed people in Tasmania (81.2%) and the lowest share in WA (60.0%). The share of employed people born in other than main English-speaking countries (OTMESC)5 is highest in Victoria and the ACT (28.8% and 27.3% of workers, respectively).

Migrant Unemployment

The unemployment rates for people who migrate to Australia vary appreciably. Several factors influence migrant unemployment rates including skill level, age, English language proficiency, recent and relevant work experience and the period since arrival in Australia.

Data consistently shows that recently arrived migrants have a higher unemployment rate on average than those who have lived in Australia for some years.

People born in Southern and Eastern Europe had the lowest unemployment rate (at 2.5%), while the unemployment rate for people born in North Africa and the Middle East (7.0%) was relatively high (possibly reflecting English language proficiency and period of residence in Australia).

Graduate Education and Employment

Business and Management (34.2%) and Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM15, 33.1%) were the main study areas for international graduates. In comparison, 15.8% of domestic graduates studied in these STEM study areas. Dentistry and Tourism, Hospitality, Personal Services, Sport and Recreation were the smallest two study areas for both groups, representing less than 1% of graduates.

Three years after graduating, 70.0% of domestic and 60.5% of international graduates worked as Professionals.17 The second most common occupation group for international graduates was Clerical and Administrative Workers (9.9%) and for domestic graduates was Managers (10.1%).

The study areas with the highest international graduate employment rates were related to Health Care and Social Assistance (Table A). While over a third of international graduates studied Business and Management, this area of study had an employment rate of 91.8%. Similarly, the employment rate was 90% for STEM international graduates, even though a third of international graduates studied STEM.

Source: © Commonwealth of Australia

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