This image shows that there were 965,600 people employed in Manufacturing as at November 2018, up 4.1% since November 2013. Employment is projected to grow by 0.9% over the five years to May 2023.
30% of jobs are regional. 12% of workers are aged 15 to 24 years. 13% of workers are self-employed. 18% of workers hold a bachelor degree or higher. 36% of workers hold a certificate 3 or higher qualification. 4% of workers hold an other qualification. 42% of workers do not hold a post-school qualification.

Following decline for much of the past decade, Manufacturing employment has grown strongly over the past year and this industry continues to provide a significant number of jobs.

The largest employing sectors are Food Product Manufacturing (220,900 jobs) and Machinery and Equipment Manufacturing (124,200). Employment in this industry is typically full-time (84%).

Holding a certificate III or higher vocational qualification is common in this industry, and there are opportunities to undertake training (with 23,700 apprentices and trainees employed in this industry in 2018).

Manufacturing employment is projected to rise slightly over the five years to May 2023 (up by 0.9%), with the Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing sector projected to have the strongest growth (up by 10.6%).

Manufacturing, Annual employment growth (%)


Top employing occupations This industry All industries
Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers 45,800 72,100
Packers 33,900 67,600
Metal Fitters and Machinists 33,800 107,700
Production Managers 32,700 55,400
Food and Drink Factory Workers 30,800 38,900
Storepersons 26,000 126,800
General Sales Assistants 23,800 529,700
Cabinetmakers 23,800 30,600
Product Assemblers 23,000 28,200
Bakers and Pastrycooks 20,500 35,100
Advertising, Public Relations and Sales Managers 20,100 141,200
Manufacturers 20,000 28,800
Forklift Drivers 19,100 68,400
Purchasing and Supply Logistics Clerks 17,300 104,200
Sales Representatives 17,300 84,300
Meat, Poultry and Seafood Process Workers 15,600 20,600
Accounting Clerks 15,200 131,700
Carpenters and Joiners 12,900 134,600
General Clerks 12,400 281,800
Engineering Production Workers 12,300 15,300

Sources: ABS, Labour Force (trend and annual averages of original data); ABS, Education and Work; Department of Jobs and Small Business, Industry Employment Projections; NCVER, Apprentices and Trainees

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