What’s happening to employment in Councils?

Demand by Councils everywhere for good people has never been greater. Since the end of the first Pandemic lockdowns in 2020, Council recruitment across Australia and New Zealand has hit peaks never seen before. But even before the Pandemic hit, we saw evidence of rapidly growing Council demand for talent that could not be satisfied by the normal rate of new JobSeekers to the sector.

CouncilJobs is continuously researching and analysing the sector for trends and insights that help Recruiters and JobSeekers alike. We publish the results of this research free to council recruiters through their Advertiser Dashboard/Login and through social media and other channels to JobSeekers. CouncilJobs also utilises its unique position as the only place to search every job in every council across Australia and New Zealand to publish an Annual Yearbook. The most recent Yearbook for the Fiscal year finishing June 2022 found;

  • The Australian council sector workforce had grown to 171,703 FTE* (when New Zealand is added, it was 229,768 spread across 628 LGA’s**), an increase of 7% over FY21
  • Faced with the highest rates of population growth of all types of LGA’s (Metro cities, Regional cities, Rural towns & Remote Districts), on a percentage basis, Regional cities had the highest Workforce and Remuneration growth

* FTE - Full-time equivalent Employees

**LGA – Local Government Area


Massive growth in jobs offered in Australian councils in 2023 vs 2022

In the calendar year to June 30, 2023, Australian councils advertised 45,483 jobs vs 29,949 in the twelve months prior, an increase of 51%. This marked increase reflects three key factors.

  • The significant reduction in council recruitment in 2020 due to Pandemic lockdowns and associated council hiring freezes
  • An ongoing skills shortage for key professionals, especially in the areas of Engineering, Town planning, Health/Building surveyors/Inspectors and Environment. These skills shortages have been ongoing in the council sector since at least 2015.
  • The national skills shortage related to the Pandemic and the associated international border closure

Overall Remuneration in the Australian Council sector continues to grow each year and in FY22 it grew by 2.6% vs FY21, up from 1.3% in the prior year.

Contact us at mail@counciljobs.com for a free copy of the FY23 Yearbook

Here's a tip

Now is the best time to consider a career in Council, as Councils improve pay and conditions to make working in council more attractive than ever.