HomeAustraliaLarge employers dominate the job market in post-COVID Australia

Large employers dominate the job market in post-COVID Australia

Job advertisements captured in LinkUp data grew considerably in 2022. Much of the 11 per cent growth last year was led by hiring in the NSW, WA and Queensland state governments.

Job seekers were also likely to be rewarded if they applied to mining, financial and retail companies, reflecting the strong outlook for the global commodities sector, an increase in housing loans and the pent-up demand for retail products after the reopening of the Australian economy.

State governments aside, the information and technology industry experienced a relatively slow pace of job growth in 2022 despite advances in technologies and the demand for their associated skills.

The top 20 employers (averaging about 3,000 job postings a year each) dominated the hiring process, with 35 percent of all job postings outside of state governments.

Notable companies in this group are mining giants Glencore and Rio Tinto, Coles and Woolworths, and the top five commercial banks (CBA, Westpac, NAB, ANZ and Macquarie). Retail chains Harvey Norman and Just Group were also prominent job advertisers.

In line with the reopening of the economy, food, lodging and hospitality providers such as Compass Group, Accor and Marriott Group were also major job advertisers last year.


Hiring was strong in the retail industry; big supermarkets Coles and Woolworths accounted for around half of the jobs advertised in that industry, with mid-size stores and internet retailers accounting for most of the rest in line with the reopening of the economy.

Technology and data-related companies Accenture, Amazon and InfoSystems rounded out much of the top list.

“The 2022 data provides a fascinating indication of how the economy is coming out of the COVID period,” says Professor David Orsmond of Macquarie University’s Department of Economics.

“They show that hiring last year was dominated by large employers, both in state government and major private companies. State government hiring aside, 35 percent of hiring was done by just the top 20 private companies compared to just 15 percent for the next 30 largest employers.”

The economy has prospered, Orsmond says, as all households have simultaneously tried to make up for consumption that was deferred during the COVID lockdowns, spending part of the $300 billion in excess savings built up during that period. Employers in all industries have struggled to hire labor to keep up with this resurgent demand, and at around 3½ percent, the unemployment rate is now its lowest in 50 years.

Future research envisions a deep dive into the exact nature of the jobs that specific companies are seeking.

Orsmond says that as the researchers update this new data set, “it will be interesting to see how these trends change as different businesses in the economy respond in different ways to rising interest rates and slowing demand for households expected during 2023. and beyond”.

Professor David Orsmond, Associate Professor Mauricio Marrone and Dr. Ali Amrollahi are part of a LinkUp/Macquarie Business School collaboration: The New Macquarie University Data Series on Labor Market Trends in a Post-COVID World.

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