This image shows that there were 860,200 people employed in the Manufacturing industry at November 2015, down 5.4% since 2014 and down 12.0% since 2010. 31% of jobs were regional. Employment in the Manufacturing industry is projected to fall by 5.3% over the next 5 years.
November 2015
5.4 since 2014
12.0 since 2010
Projected to decrease by 5.3% over the next 5 years

Top 5 Manufacturing Occupations

Top 5 Occupations
Top 5 Occupations This Industry All Industries
Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers 42,700 70,600
Production Managers 32,900 55,500
Metal Fitters and Machinists 32,000 117,200
Packers 30,900 65,300
Food and Drink Factory Workers 25,200 29,600

Over the five years to November 2015, employment in Manufacturing decreased by 117,700 (or 12.0%), the largest fall of any industry. It remains, though, the sixth largest employing industry, accounting for 7% of Australia’s employment. Further job losses are expected over the five years to November 2020 (down by 45,700 or 5.3%), although there is expected to be growth in some subsectors, such as Food Product Manufacturing (up by 5,200).

Technicians and Trades Workers is the largest occupation group and vocational education and training (VET) is a key provider of skills to this industry, with 38% of workers holding a certificate III or higher VET qualification. About 38% of workers do not hold post-school qualifications and there is significant employment in lower skilled occupations.

This industry employs more than 40,000 apprentices and trainees, around 18,000 of whom are aged 15 to 24 years.

Male, full-time employment characterises this industry. Women hold 27% of jobs and just 15% of employment is part-time.

Young people also have a low share of Manufacturing jobs (12%). Workers aged 45 years and over comprise a relatively large proportion of the industry’s workforce (44% compared with the all industries average, 39%).

Educational attainment, Manufacturing (% of industry total)

Shows the educational attainment profile of the Manufacturing Industry's workforce.  Bachelor degree or higher 17%. Certificate III or higher VET qualification 38%. No post-school qualification 38%. Other qualification 7%.

Age profile, Manufacturing (% of industry total)

Shows age profile of the workforce in the Manufacturing industry.  15-24 years 12%. 25-34 years 21%. 35-44 years 23%. 45-54 years 26%. Aged 55 years and over 18%. All industries average: 15-24 years 16%. 25-34 years 23%. 35-44 years 22%. 45-54 years 21%. Aged 55 years and over 18%.

Employment projections by region, Manufacturing, five years to November 2020 (% change)

Employment projections by region, Manufacturing, five years to November 2020 (% change)

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Sources: ABS, Labour Force (trend and annual averages of original data); ABS, Education and Work; Department of Employment, Industry Employment Projections; ABS, Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification