• Skyward Financial

Business Finance Update - October 22


We hope business is going well for you right now. Here are some business, finance and economics stories I think you’ll enjoy:

  • Many jobs going unfilled

  • Minimum wage rises

  • Shoppers set new record

  • Fascinating workforce stats

Read more below.




Employers are struggling to find workers in Australia’s low-unemployment economy. There were 470,900 job vacancies in August, according to the most recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. That compares to just 487,700 unemployed people in the same month, when the unemployment rate was 3.5%. Job vacancies, which are at historically high levels, are 107.4% higher than in February 2020, just before the start of the pandemic. Between February 2020 and August 2022, the share of businesses with job vacancies surged from 11.0% to 26.7%.



Some industries experienced an explosion in vacancies during that two-and-a-half-year period:

  • Accommodation & food services vacancies up 300.9%

  • Arts & recreation services 231.7%

  • Rental, hiring & real estate services 216.5%

  • Health care & social assistance 149.8%

  • Retail trade 144.2%

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Minimum wages in 10 awards in the hospitality, tourism and aviation sectors have increased as of October 1. The affected awards are:

  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award [MA000009]

  • Registered and Licensed Clubs Award [MA000058]

  • Restaurant Industry Award [MA000119]

  • Alpine Resorts Award [MA000092]

  • Marine Tourism and Charter Vessels Award [MA000093]

  • Air Pilots Award [MA000046]

  • Aircraft Cabin Crew Award [MA000047]

  • Airline Operations - Ground Staff Award [MA000048]

  • Airport Employees Award [MA000049]

  • Airservices Australia Enterprise Award 2016 [MA000141]

These increases come after the National Minimum Wage and minimum wages for all other awards increased from July 1. Since the changes took effect, the compensation cap – which is the most the Fair Work Commission can order an employer to pay in an unfair dismissal case – has been raised to $81,000. Also, the high income threshold has been increased to $162,000. When an employee earns more than the high income threshold, the relevant award doesn’t apply to them any more and they're no longer eligible to apply for unfair dismissal through the Fair Work Commission.



Consumers spent a record $34.9 billion with retail businesses during August, according to the most recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. That August result was not only the highest spending month of all time, it was also:

  • 0.6% higher than the month before

  • 19.2% higher than the year before

  • the eighth consecutive monthly increase

In year-on-year terms, turnover increased in all the different retail groups:

  • Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing up 80.4%

  • Cafes, restaurants & takeaway food services 58.8%

  • Department stores 54.6%

  • Household goods retailing 16.4%

  • Other retailing 13.8%

  • Food retailing 1.8%

Each state and territory also enjoyed a year-on-year increase in retail turnover:

  • ACT up 32.3%

  • NSW 29.5%

  • VIC 20.3%

  • QLD 14.2%

  • SA 9.8%

  • WA 8.0%

  • TAS 7.2%

  • NT 4.5%




A new data release from the 2021 Census has provided some revealing insights about our workforce. Some of the key findings were:

  • 64% of employees worked full-time, 36% part-time


  • The top five industries in terms of employee numbers were health care & social assistance (14.5% of all employees), retail trade (9.1%), construction (8.9%), education & training (8.8%) and professional, scientific & technical services (7.8%)


  • The five most popular occupations were general sales assistants (4.3% of all employees), registered nurses (2.2%), general clerks (2.0%), aged & disabled carers (1.9%) and retail managers (1.6%)


  • The five most male-dominated occupations were bricklayers & stonemasons (99.1% male), plumbers (99.0%), sheetmetal trades workers (99.0%), carpenters & joiners (98.9%) and roof tilers (98.9%)


  • The five most female-dominated occupations were midwives (98.7% female), early childhood teachers (97.6%), dental assistants (97.5%), personal assistants (97.1%) and beauty therapists (97.0%)