Job mobility in Australia falls to pre-pandemic levels

Job mobility rates have declined for the first time in three years, reflecting fewer job changes across industries and roles.
By: | July 10, 2024
Topics: Australia | Mobility | News

Australia’s job mobility rate has fallen for the first time in three years, returning to levels recorded before the pandemic struck.

This is according to new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), which showed that 8% of employed people (1.1 million) changed their employer or business, a decline of 1.5% from the 9.6% recorded in February 2023.

Bjorn Jarvis, Head of Labour Statistics at ABS, shared that the numbers reflect what the organisation typically saw during the five years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Job mobility rates have fallen for both men and women but fell by more for men,” Jarvis shared. “As a result, job mobility over the past year was slightly higher for women at 8.2%, compared to 7.9% for men, after having been higher for men for most of the past decade.”

Younger employees experienced more mobility than their older counterparts, with 12.6% of employees between 15 and 24 years old changing jobs. However, this was still noticeably lower than the 15.9% recorded in 2022 during the pandemic and much lower than the rates of more than 20% in the 2000s.

READ MORE: New legislation empowers union delegates in Australia

In February 2024, there were 1.9 million potential employees, defined as people who were not working but wanted to work – an increase from 1.8 million in February 2023. Jarvis added that of the numbers, around 555,000 were actively looking for work and available and 1.3 million were those either not actively looking for work and/or not available to work. 

810,000 people were recorded as wanting to work and able to start either immediately or within four weeks, yet not actively looking due to commitments such as school and caregiving obligations, or factors such as chronic health conditions.

82% of unemployed people found difficulty finding jobs due to reasons such as fierce competition for available jobs, insufficient work experience, and chronic health issues. 

For more news and analysis on the latest HR and workforce trends in Asia, subscribe to HRM Asia and be part of the region’s largest HR community!