The Northern Territory (NT) is the smallest labour market in Australia, with almost two thirds of employment located in Darwin. Public Administration and Safety is the largest employing industry (23,000) followed by Health Care and Social Assistance (18,600). Employment growth over the past five years has been below the national average.
Current conditions (to January 2019)
Labour market conditions have weakened in the NT over the year, with the level of employment decreasing by 2,500 (or 1.8%). Full-time employment has fallen by 1,600 (or 1.4%), while part-time employment has fallen by 900 (or 3.1%). The territory’s unemployment rate has risen by 0.7 percentage points over the year to 5.0% in January 2019, equivalent to the national rate. The participation rate has fallen by 1.3 percentage points over the year to 74.8% in January 2019, but remains the highest rate of any state or territory.
Conditions for youth in the NT have also deteriorated over the year, with youth employment declining by 1,500 (or 8.0%). The youth unemployment rate has risen by 2.1 percentage points over the year to 10.6% in January 2019, although it remains below the national rate (11.5%).
The short-term outlook for the NT labour market is relatively soft. The NT Treasury has forecast employment growth of 0.3% in 2019-20, while the unemployment rate is expected to average 4.5% over the period. Over the five years to May 2023, employment in the NT is projected to increase by 4.4%.
Sources: ABS, Labour Force (trend and annual averages of original data); ABS, Education and Work; Department of Jobs and Small Business, Employment Projections; Department of Treasury and Finance, Northern Territory
For more information see lmip.gov.au