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COVID-19 Impacts on Businesses and Recruitment – Survey Results

The National Skills Commission is conducting a survey of businesses to measure the impact of COVID-19. Data is collected on staffing changes, business impacts, actions taken by businesses in response to the pandemic, and future expectations. The key findings from this survey are presented in the reports below with previous versions available upon request, please contact RecruitmentAnalysis@skillscommission.gov.au

Impacts of COVID-19 on businesses - Victoria in focus (PDF) (530.1KB)

Highlights key results for Victoria, and how it compares with Australia overall, using data up to 10 July.

Impacts of COVID-19 - risks to businesses staying open (PDF) (271.2KB)

Outlines what businesses perceive to be the biggest risks to staying open over the next six months, using data collected in the three weeks to July 10.

Impacts of COVID-19 on businesses – future staffing expectations and business confidence (PDF) (470.5KB)

Provides an update on businesses’ future staffing expectations, and their confidence in remaining open for the next 6 months, using data up to 26 June.

Impacts of COVID-19 on businesses - staffing changes by state and territory (PDF) (563.9KB)

Provides information on recent and expected staffing changes, by state and territory.

Jobs in Demand Employer Survey

The National Skills Commission is undertaking research to identify where job opportunities continue to exist in the Australian labour market despite the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. The Jobs in Demand Employer Survey is based on employer contacts in the five industries that continue to experience relatively strong demand for goods and services (Health Care and Social Assistance; Transport, Postal and Warehousing; Manufacturing; Retail Trade; and Wholesale Trade). Key findings include which jobs are in demand and what qualifications, skills and experience employers are seeking in these roles. Results are updated fortnightly. For further information, please contact: SkillShortages@skillscommission.gov.au


Jobs in Demand Employer Survey – Dashboard as at 24 July (PDF) (206.7KB)

Jobs in Demand Employer Survey – Factsheet – Top Jobs in Demand (PDF) (364.1KB)


Industry Employment – February Quarter 2020

The ABS released industry employment data for the February quarter 2020 on 26 March.

The industry employment summary and detailed commentary brief summarises key trends in industries over the year to the February quarter 2020 and possible implications from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Industry Employment Summary Brief - February Quarter 2020 (WORD) (155.9KB)

The industry employment baseline brief summarises employment in sectors directly affected by Stage 1 and Stage 2 restrictions, and in sectors where there has been recent observed demand for workers.

Industry Employment Baseline - February Quarter 2020 (WORD) (190.4KB)

A detailed brief on employment in the Retail Trade industry is now available. More briefs on other industries impacted by the pandemic will be released in the future.

Employment Conditions and Outlook for Retail Trade - April 2020 (WORD) (659.9KB)

Labour Market Maps and Analytics

A new interactive dashboard is now available, providing key labour market statistics and unemployment rate maps at the national, state/territory and regional levels. Using the tabs at the top of the dashboard, you can choose the state, territory or region of interest to you and navigate through the information available. Data are based on the monthly ABS Labour Force Survey and will be updated as new survey results are released.

Occupational Risks from COVID-19 – Analysis using Physical Proximity and Exposure to Disease Data

The National Skills Commission has analysed data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the United States Department of Labour O*NET Database to produce insights into the potential risk from COVID-19 on different occupations in the labour market.

This analysis calculates the ‘Physical Proximity’ and ‘Exposure to Disease and Infection’ typically involved in the regular work duties of different jobs across the Australian Labour Market.

The link below has several interactive visualisations to help users understand the distribution of these ‘Physical Proximity’ and ‘Exposure to Disease and Infection’ scores across occupational and industry groups.


The data show that service based occupations, particularly those in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry, are at greatest risk from COVID-19. Indeed, the data in highlight the importance of social distancing in managing the spread of COVID-19, as the incidence of Physical Proximity to others is higher for more occupations (including for those in office based occupations) than the relative Exposure to Disease and Infection, which concentrates in health care occupations and for those working in personal services like beauty therapy.

The distribution of Physical Proximity scores across industries show the Retail Trade and Accommodation and Food Services industries have the highest proportions of industry employment in occupations with Physical Proximity scores greater than or equal to 50 (90.4%, and 87.6% respectively). These industries will likely face increased difficulty adjusting their regular work duties to accommodate social distancing requirements.


Example chart - COVID-19 risk exposure, for occupations where their Physical Proximity and Exposure to Disease scores are both greater than or equal to 50 and their occupational employment level is greater than or equal to 25,000 (at the time of the 2016 Census)

Occupation Risk Analysis (PDF) (107.2KB)

Sources: National Skills Commission, joboutlook.gov.au, ANZSCO to O*NET concordance; Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016 Census data; United States Department of Labor, O*NET database.

Supporting data

Employment Projections

Where will the jobs be in the future? The National Skills Commission projects employment growth over the next five years by region, industry, and occupation.

Vacancy Report

Online job advertising levels and trends by region, occupation and skill level are detailed in the monthly vacancy report.

Employers’ Recruitment Insights

The Survey of Employers' Recruitment Experiences is used to monitor recruitment conditions and to provide up-to-date information on regional labour market challenges.

Workforce Shortages

The National Skills Commission carries out research to identify workforce shortages at the state, territory and/or national level for around 80 occupations.