Australian Labour Market Insights: February 2022 – February 2023

Australia’s labour market conditions are robust, according to the latest Australian Labour Market for Migrants Report from Jobs and Skills Australia.

There have been strong increases in full-time employment and improvements for the unemployed in the 12 months leading up to February 2023.

Let’s look at the highlights of importance for migrants and people interested in working in Australia:


Employment opportunities and growth varied widely across industries over the 12 months to February 2023:

  • The largest increases in employment were in Construction, Healthcare and Social Assistance, and Retail Trade.
  • The largest decreases in employment were in Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services, Financial and Insurance Services, and Public Administration and Safety.
  • The strongest rates of employment growth were in Construction (up by 12.4%), Wholesale Trade (up by 7.8%), and Arts and Recreation Services (up by 7.5%).


The seasonally adjusted rate of unemployment in Australia was 3.5% in February 2023, which is a decrease from 4.0% in February 2022:

  • The unemployment rate decreased in all states and territories except the Northern Territory, where it increased from 3.6% to 4.6% over the 12 months to February 2023.
  • The largest decreases in unemployment rates were in South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.
  • The ACT had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.9%, and the Northern Territory had the highest unemployment rate.

Employment by occupation

  • The largest increase in employment from February 2022 to February 2023 occurred for Community and Personal Service Workers.
  • The second-largest increase in employment happened for Technicians and Trades Workers.
  • The occupation group with the largest decrease in employment was Sales Workers.

Internet vacancies

The Australian Labour Market for Migrants report also includes data from Jobs and Skills Australia’s monthly Vacancy Report. This report includes data on internet vacancies, and it reveals the following figures for the 12 months up to February 2023:

  • The largest increases in internet vacancies were for Community and Personal Service Workers (up by 7.7%), Professionals, (up by 6.5%) and Managers (up by 5.2%).
  • The strongest increases in internet vacancies were for Education Professionals (up by 43.8%), Protective Service Workers (up by 42.2%) and Medical Practitioners and Nurses (up by 39.0%).
  • The largest decreases were for Food Preparation Assistants (down by 31.4%), ICT Professionals (down by 24.0%), and Cleaning and Laundry Workers (down by 18.3%).
  • Internet vacancies rose in Tasmania (up by 21.6%), the Northern Territory (up by 19.1%), Queensland (up by 12.7%), South Australia (up by 9.0%) and Western Australia (up by 3.8%).
  • Vacancies fell in the ACT (down by 0.5%), New South Wales (down by 3.0%), and Victoria (down by 3.1%).

Sustained growth could prove challenging

The Australian Labour Market Report for Migrants notes that although Australia’s job market is strong, it will be challenging to sustain the current rate of employment growth. Australia is not immune to international forces driving inflation and slower global growth.

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