Australia’s labour market remains very tight in late 2023, with elevated levels of vacancies and job turnover persisting.


The unemployment rate is 3.6% in September 2023, and has been around the mid-3s for the last twelve months. Prior to 2022, unemployment had not consistently been under 4.0% since the early 1970s.

The underemployment rate was 6.4% in August. It has risen half a percent over the last twelve months, but remains at lowered levels not seen since the mid-2000s.

Job vacancies

There were 424,000 vacant jobs during the June quarter of 2023 (seasonally adjusted). While vacancies have declined over the last year, the level remains double that prior to the pandemic. 2.7% of all jobs in Australia are currently vacant.

With 505,000 unemployed people in Australia, there are currently 1.2 unemployed people for each vacant job. Prior to the current labour market cycle, this ratio was around 4.0.

The industries with the highest job vacancy rates include mining (5.1%), accommodation (3.6%), utilities (3.4%) and technical services (3.2%).

Job turnover

9.5% of the Australian workforce changed their employer in the year to February 2023, unchanged from the year prior. This is the highest job turnover rate since 2012. Job turnover was slightly lower for women (9.4%) than men (9.7%).

Hospitality has the highest job turnover rate in Australia (19.1%), with above average rates for retail, administration, mining, transport and arts & recreation. Job turnover was lower in public-sector dominated industries like healthcare, education and public administration.

Casual employment

The rate of casual employment was 22.4 % in August 2023. Throughout 2023 the rate has been the lowest in over a decade, and despite a marginal increase in recent months remains below its long-term range of 23.5 to 25.5%.  

Causal employment is most common in five industries: accommodation and food, agriculture, arts and recreation, retail trade, and administrative and support. Industrial sectors like construction, manufacturing, mining, wholesale trade and utilities have below-average rates of casualisation


The data in this factsheet are derived from various ABS labour surveys. Data is collected on a quarterly or annual basis, and is typically released two or three months following the reference period. Ai Group Research & Economics will update this factsheet as new data is released. Refer to notes in the charts for links to the source data.

Ai Group Research & Economics Team

Website: Research and Economics Resource Centre


Need help?

The Workplace Advice Line is Ai Group’s national telephone advisory service for all your on the spot workplace related questions.

Call the Workplace Advice Line
1300 55 66 77 and press option 1
(Overseas: +61 3 9867 0100). Email:

Weekdays from 8.30am to 5.30pm
(Australian Eastern Daylight/Standard Time)

General enquiries

Want to get in touch? We'd love to hear from you.