In 2016, the Australian labour market is markedly different from that experienced by workers in past decades.

The Australian Jobs publication presents an overview of the current labour market and highlights the major changes which have occurred, including for industries and occupations. It is designed to meet the needs of a range of users, such as people exploring careers, those supporting people into employment and students who want a better understanding of the labour market. The report is based largely on Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures but also uses data from other Government and related agencies. More detailed information is available and Australian Jobs includes links to help you explore the labour market further.

Although there has been considerable jobs growth over the past year, some challenges remain. These include the particular difficulty mature age and young job seekers have in the labour market, and the low share that women have in many industries and senior jobs. There are, though, lots of opportunities and Australian Jobs will help you to identify these.

If you are planning for training or work it’s helpful to understand where the jobs are and what employers look for when recruiting. The labour market is, however, complex and many factors influence job prospects. A positive attitude, a willingness to learn and participating in entry-level jobs or volunteer positions to gain experience and work skills, can all help.

The forward looking information in this report provides some guidance about which industries and occupations are likely to have the largest numbers of new jobs in the next five years. Sometimes, though, even in occupations that are in high demand, applicants can face significant competition for vacancies. Conversely, employers sometimes have difficulty recruiting for occupations which have low growth or for which employment is falling.

Employment and training decisions should be based on an assessment of all relevant issues, including aptitude, interests, expectations about pay and working conditions, training requirements and goals. Some examples of the type of information to consider are provided in the Jobs by Occupation section under Occupation Profiles. Good candidates are valued regardless of labour market conditions and you are more likely to succeed if you have a passion for the job.

People who complete post-school study are generally less likely to be unemployed and are more likely to have higher pay than those who do not study after they leave school. Australian Apprenticeships allow you to earn and gain work skills as you learn, and employment outcomes are strong.

Millions of Australians also find rewarding, long-term careers in occupations for which post-school qualifications are not required. In fact, the largest occupation in Australia is General Sales Assistant, which employs more than half a million people. Most employers of these workers do not seek highly qualified staff, but they do place a priority on skills such as teamwork, good communication, personal presentation and customer service.

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The contents of Australian Jobs 2016 are based on information available at the time of publication. Over time, the reliability of the data and analysis may diminish. The Commonwealth, its officers, employees and agents do not accept responsibility for any inaccuracies contained in the report or for any negligence in the compilation of the report and disclaim liability for any loss suffered by any person arising from the use of this report. Labour market information must be used cautiously as employment prospects can change over time and vary by region. It is important in making and assessing career choices to consider all factors, including interest and aptitudes, remuneration and expectations, and the requirements of occupations.