Australia is currently experiencing a persistent and unprecedented, country-wide shortage of workers.
Currently, Western Australia is hardest hit by worker shortages. The number of job vacancies in WA is equivalent to 10% of the WA working age population not in the labour force, close to double states such as South Australia.
Chart 1: Job vacancies as a percentage of working-age West Australians not in labour force
Australia’s worker shortage crisis is unprecedented
Australia has experienced a sharp increase in the number of job vacancies since March 2020. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were 438,500 reported job vacancies in February 2023 and one quarter of businesses cannot find enough workers.
Chart 2: Number of job vacancies in Australia
In WA, there are almost 53,000 job vacancies – double the number prior to Covid – and over one in five businesses cannot find enough workers.