The Morrison government has launched a new workforce data dashboard that will make detailed information on employment publicly available 60 times more rapidly than it used to be. Dubbed 'Nowcast of Employment by Region and Occupation' or ‘NERO’, the new tool, which became available on 27 September, provides data on employment in 355 occupations across 88 regions on a monthly basis: current levels of employment, how much it has changed in the last one year, and how much it has changed in the last five years.
This data was previously only available every five years from the ABS Census of Population and Housing. Now the NERO dashboard, in the words of Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business Stuart Robert, takes Australian workforce data 'into the 21st Century' and will ideally help with the post-pandemic economic recovery.
"NERO equips decisionmakers with a much better understanding of Australian workforce trends which will reduce risk and drive innovation and investment—a benefit to all Australians," Minister Robert said. "By having access to this information each and every month, industry will be better placed than ever to respond to employment trends sooner, which is so important to our ongoing economic recovery."
NERO was created by the National Skills Commission and uses 'nowcasting', an emerging methodology that uses complex statistical and big data techniques to monitor the state of the economy - or in this case the workforce - in real time. It currently covers data from September 2015 to August 2021, and is scheduled to release updates on the first Wednesday of each month.
At this point in time, however, the NSC is cautioning that the dashboard and the estimates it provides are still 'experimental in nature' and may be revised in coming months.