Australian Jobs 2023: Unveiling Insights from Australia’s Employment Market


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As we bid farewell to 2023, it’s a perfect opportunity to look back and analyze the last 12 months of Australia’s employment market.

The recently published “Australian Jobs 2023” report dives deep into the heart of Australia’s employment market over the past year, unraveling the trends, challenges, and successes that have shaped the world of work Down Under.

Labour market conditions

Labour market conditions in Australia were robust over the year to May 2023. Indeed, employment increased by 465,500 (or 3.4%) over the period, to stand at a record high of 14,011,800 in May 2023, well above the decade annual average growth rate of 2.0%.

Encouragingly, female employment increased by 249,000 (or 3.9%) over the year, to a record high of 6,684,400 in May 2023, while male employment also rose, by 216,500 (or 3.0%), to 7,327,400, also a record high.

While the underemployment rate increased by 0.5 percentage points over the year, to 6.4% in May 2023, it remains well below the 8.7% recorded in March 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic.


New South Wales is the largest employing state in Australia. Most jobs are in Sydney, which accounts for almost two-thirds of the state’s employment. The largest employing industry in New South Wales is Health Care and Social Assistance, followed by Professional, Scientific and Technical Services. Retail Trade, Construction and Education and Training are also major employing industries in this state.


Victoria is Australia’s second largest employing state, with around 3.6 million workers. More than three-quarters of employment is concentrated in Melbourne. Labour market conditions were strong in Victoria over the year to May 2023. For instance, employment increased by 146,500 (4.2%) over the period, to stand at a record high, of 3,627,800 in May 2023.


Queensland is the third largest employing state in Australia, with around half the jobs located in Brisbane and a further 13% in the Gold Coast area. The number of job advertisements in Queensland has remained relatively stable, increasing by 2.3% over the year to May 2023. While the number of new advertisements has slowed in recent months, there remains plenty of job opportunities available. Over the year, vacancies in Queensland continued to increase for Civil Engineering Professionals, Truck Drivers and Advertising and Sales Managers.


Western Australia is the fourth largest employing state (accounting for 11% of the national workforce), with almost 80% of employment located in Perth.

Unlike the rest of Australia, a large proportion of Western Australians are employed in the Mining industry (around one in ten workers). Reflecting this, around 50% of total Mining employment is in this state. During the 2022 calendar year, 71% of recruiting employers in Perth relied on internet jobs boards to recruit, well above the national average of 63%.

Recruitment methods used by Employers

In 2022, almost two-thirds of recruiting employers in Australia advertised for staff on internet job boards. Some employers approach people directly about job opportunities, while others asked other workers, friends, or family members if they knew anyone who may be interested in the position. Recruiting using social media is a tool used by an increasing number of employers.

A growing trend is using region-based or industry-based Facebook job groups, which are an inexpensive way for employers to post vacancies and allow interactions between employers and local job seekers, especially for lower skilled positions.

While the majority of jobs are advertised on the internet, JSA research also indicates that more than a quarter (27%) of employers filled a job with someone they knew, directly or indirectly. This rose to 39% of employers in regional areas.

It is common for employers to hire someone who is:
– personally known to them, such as a friend or family contact
– a professional contact, for example, a previous co-worker
– recommended by someone they know.


The Construction industry is one of Australia’s largest industries. Employment growth in the Construction industry is cyclical, meaning it often has periods of strong employment growth followed by periods when employment in the industry falls.

In trend terms, employment grew by 9.3% over the past 12 months, with this industry making up more than 9% of total employment. Over the past 10 years, construction has been one of the fastest growing sectors, with total employment growth of more than 30% over that period.

ABS Job Vacancy Survey data showed that job vacancies fell by 17% over the past 12 months but are still at almost double their February 2020 (pre COVID-19 pandemic) level, with this industry making up around 8% of total job vacancies.

A number of large-employing occupations currently have a skills shortage, including Carpenters and Joiners, Electricians, Construction Managers, Plumbers and Painting Trades Workers


Higher education graduates generally have strong employment outcomes, especially as graduates gain experience in the labour market. In 2022, 78.5% of undergraduates were employed 4 months after completing their degree. For graduates who had completed their degree 3 years earlier in 2019, 93% were employed in 2022.

There were 1.6 million students enrolled in higher education in 2021 (up by 27.4% over the past decade).

In 2022, the median annual full-time salary for an undergraduate was $68,000. Study areas with the highest median salaries included:

  • Dentistry, $100,000
  • Medicine, $79,800
  • Social Work, $75,000
  • Teacher Education, $72,200.

Clean Energy Jobs

Clean energy is an exciting, new and technology rich sector. Australia’s commitments to transform to a Net Zero economy mean the clean energy sector and enabling industries will grow over the next few decades. Find out more here: Australia’s transitioning to clean energy creating a renewables jobs boom

Source: Commonwealth of Australia, Australian Jobs 2023

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