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Payroll jobs fall into July: Australia

Payroll jobs fell by 0.8 per cent in the month to 16 July 2022, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Bjorn Jarvis, head of labor statistics at the ABS, said: “While some of the fall in payroll jobs over late June and into early July reflects the seasonal influence of school holidays on the labor market, together with end of financial year seasonality in payroll reporting, it also covers a period with increasing employee absences from COVID and other illnesses.

“During periods of high employee absences, we’ve seen that payroll jobs data can show slower growth and larger short-term changes than Labor Force statistics on employment, given employees without paid leave entitlements may be away from work for a short period without losing their job.”

The interpretation of changes in payroll jobs around the end of the financial year can be particularly challenging, until business reporting is more complete.

“As employers finalize their employees’ earnings information and the financial year is reset in payrolls, estimates of payroll jobs can show a higher level of variation and subsequent revisions, particularly around June and July.” Mr. Jarvis received.

Changes over time

The employee absences up to mid-July 2022 follow a sequence of labor market disruptions outside of seasonality, as seen in previous years. This period in 2021 coincided with the emergence of the COVID Delta variant, while in 2020 the labor market had just started to recover from the initial pandemic outbreak.

“While employee absences have impacted on week-to-week changes in payroll jobs in recent months, underlying growth has generally continued through the year. By mid-July 2022, payroll jobs were 4.5 per cent above mid-July 2021 and 9.9 per cent above mid-July 2020,” Mr Jarvis said.

“This also reflects what we have seen in terms of increases in payroll jobs since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, with around 8 per cent more payroll jobs in mid-July 2022, compared with around 4 per cent more by mid-July 2021.”

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