Industry Overview

In which industries do Australians work?

There are 19 broad industries. The four largest, collectively, account for around 40% of employment. They are

  • Health Care and Social Assistance (1,523,000)
  • Retail Trade (1,267,400)
  • Construction (1,046,900)
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (1,023,300).

Which industries have grown/declined?

Over the five years to November 2015, employment increased in 15 of the 19 industries. The largest numbers of new jobs were created in

  • Health Care and Social Assistance (up by 256,600)
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (173,000)
  • Education and Training (88,100).

Four industries recorded a fall in employment (although some subsectors within these had jobs growth)

  • Manufacturing (down by 117,700)
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (38,800)
  • Wholesale Trade (13,500)
  • Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services (8,900).

In which industries do young people work?

Young people (15 to 24 years) work in all industries, but those with the largest numbers of young workers are

  • Retail Trade (more than 410,000)
  • Accommodation and Food Services (more than 360,000)
  • Construction (more than 170,000).

Where do females work?

Although women are employed in every industry, there is a marked variation in gender profiles across industries. There are larger numbers of women employed in Health Care and Social Assistance (79% of workers are female) and Education and Training (70%) than men. In Construction, though, men significantly outnumber women (who have just 11% of jobs).

Industries with large numbers of female workers are

  • Health Care and Social Assistance (around 1.2 million)
  • Retail Trade (close to 700,000)
  • Education and Training (more than 650,000).

Share of total new jobs, five years to November 2015 (%)

This pie chart shows the share of total new jobs by industry.  Health Care and Social Assistance 27%. Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 18%. Education and Training 9%. Retail Trade 7%. Accommodation and Food Services 7%. Financial and Insurance Services 5%. Construction 5%. Public Administration and Safety 4%. Transport, Postal and Warehousing 4%. Other 14%.

Employment by industry

Employment by industry
  Employment Employment Profile Projected Employment
  Employ’t Nov 2015 Share of total 5 year change to Nov 2015 Part-time Female Aged 15 to 24 years Aged 45 years and over Regional 5 year change to Nov 2020
Industry '000 % '000 % % % % % % '000 %
Accommodation and Food Services 824.1 7 64.5 8.5 58 54 44 21 36 98.8 12.0
Administrative and Support Services 418.5 4 29.8 7.7 41 50 11 41 29 32.6 7.8
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 305.6 3 -38.8 -11.3 27 32 9 58 84 -9.4 -3.1
Arts and Recreation Services 227.7 2 31.5 16.0 46 46 25 31 28 24.5 10.8
Construction 1,046.9 9 46.7 4.7 15 11 17 35 31 87.0 8.3
Education and Training 938.0 8 88.1 10.4 39 70 9 47 32 121.7 13.0
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services 139.6 1 -8.9 -6.0 9 22 6 44 36 0.8 0.6
Financial and Insurance Services 440.2 4 49.4 12.6 17 51 7 33 14 37.4 8.5
Health Care and Social Assistance 1,523.0 13 256.6 20.3 45 79 10 46 34 250.2 16.4
Information Media and Telecommunications 219.8 2 7.1 3.3 21 43 12 31 15 8.8 4.0
Manufacturing 860.2 7 -117.7 -12.0 15 27 12 44 31 -45.7 -5.3
Mining 225.8 2 25.0 12.5 3 14 7 37 56 -31.9 -14.1
Other Services 478.5 4 28.9 6.4 30 42 18 37 33 25.5 5.3
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 1,023.3 9 173.0 20.3 22 41 10 36 18 151.2 14.8
Public Administration and Safety 735.2 6 38.6 5.5 19 49 6 46 32 51.2 7.0
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services 216.8 2 10.8 5.2 25 50 11 43 29 25.8 11.9
Retail Trade 1,267.4 11 66.1 5.5 49 55 33 30 32 106.0 8.4
Transport, Postal and Warehousing 611.2 5 35.1 6.1 20 23 7 51 29 52.2 8.5
Wholesale Trade 391.3 3 -13.5 -3.3 17 32 9 46 26 3.1 0.8
All Industries1 11,855.8 100 710.1 6.4 31 46 16 39 32 989.7 8.3

1. Some data are trend and, for these, totals do not add

Sources: ABS, Labour Force (trend and annual averages of original data); Department of Employment, Industry Employment Projections