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The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that the number of job vacancies across Australia fell by -20.8% during August, compared with the same month last year. Private sector vacancies experienced the biggest fall with -21.2%, while public sector vacancies dropped by -15.9%.
The total number of vacancies in August was 137,900; of which 126,500 were private sector and 11,400 were public sector.
The only region to report an increased number of job vacancies was the Northern Territory, in August 2012 there were 3,200 vacancies compared with 3,600 in 2013, an increase of +14.6%. The biggest year-on-year vacancy declines were reported in Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), with -35.4% and -42% respectively.
Private sector job vacancies fell most sharply in ACT with a drop of -47.9%, compared with a year ago, followed by Western Australia with a fall of -35.6%.
Western Australia also experienced the steepest decline in public sector jobs, year-on-year, dropping by -30.9%, followed by South Australia with a fall of -30% compared with a year ago.
The construction industry posted the highest number of job vacancies with 20,300, up +20.8% from 16,800 for the same month last year. This was followed by the professional, scientific, and technical services sector, which posted 20,200 jobs, a +10% increase compared with 18,400 vacancies a year ago.
Administrative and support service vacancies fell by -31.1%, from 26,700 in August 2012 to 18,400 in August 2013. The retail trade experienced a -26.7% fall in vacancies, dropping to 14,000 in 2013 from 18,100 last year.