Australian jobs grow but hours are in decline

| September 29, 2018

The number of filled jobs in Australia grew by 117,000 or 0.8 per cent in the June quarter 2018, while the number of hours worked decreased by 0.5 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms, according to new labour market insights released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said the second quarterly release of the Australian Labour Account had pulled together existing data from diverse sources to provide the most complete picture of Australia’s labour market, both economy-wide and by key industry.

Of the overall increase of 117,000, filled jobs in the construction industry increased by close to 50,000 in the June quarter 2018 to more than 1.1 million jobs, making it the fourth biggest industry in the economy.

“The rate of growth in filled jobs in the construction industry was 4.4 per cent, the fastest growth of any industry in the economy. This resulted in a 9.1 per cent growth in filled jobs through the year,” Mr Hockman said.

This industry, which includes building construction, engineering construction and construction services, now represents 8.3 per cent of all filled jobs. Only the health care and social assistance, retail trade and accommodation and food services industries have more filled jobs than construction.

The Labour Account showed that, while the number of hours worked decreased in the June quarter, through the year to June 2018 hours worked increased by 0.5 per cent. This was consistent with other labour indicators that showed increased growth in part-time employment compared with full-time.

“The Labour Account is important in tracking changes to industry and the economy over time” Mr Hockman said.

Graph showing filled jobs by industry in June 2013 and June 2018
“Over the past five years health care and social assistance has remained the largest contributor to the number of jobs in the Australian economy,” said Mr Hockman.

The Australian Labour Account complements other ABS measures to build a more comprehensive picture of the labour market. Labour Account data provides the number of filled jobs at a point-in-time each quarter, while the Jobs in Australia data provides insights into all jobs held throughout the year, and Labour Force Survey data measures the number of people employed each month

Further details can be found in Labour Account Australia, Quarterly Experimental Estimates available for free download from