South Australia has a relatively small workforce, with around 7% of national employment. Employment is concentrated in Adelaide, which accounts for 78% of state employment.
Over the past five years, employment growth in South Australia was below the national average. During this period, however, employment grew across most industries, with the largest numbers of jobs added in
- Health Care and Social Assistance (up by 13,300)
- Accommodation and Food Services (13,000).
The largest fall in employment over the past five years was in Manufacturing (down by 6,800, or 8.4%). Manufacturing employment has fallen for much of the past five years but has recovered recently, with strong growth over the past year offsetting some of the previous falls.
South Australian workers are less likely to hold post-school qualifications than workers nationally. A higher share of workers in this state hold a certificate III or higher vocational qualification (31%) than those who have a bachelor degree or higher (28%).
Current conditions (to January 2019)
Labour market conditions in South Australia have been relatively soft over the past year, with employment increasing by just 1,600 (or 0.2%). Full-time employment has risen solidly, up by 10,100 (or 1.9%) over the period, while part-time employment has decreased by 8,600 (or 2.9%). The state’s unemployment rate has increased by 0.4 percentage points over the year to 6.3% in January 2019, well above the national rate of 5.0%. The participation rate has fallen by 0.1 percentage points to 62.6%, well below the national rate of 65.7%.
Conditions for youth in South Australia have improved over the year, with youth employment increasing by 9,500 (or 8.0%). The youth unemployment rate has declined by 3.2 percentage points to 12.7% in January 2019, although it remains above the national rate of 11.5%.
The short-term outlook for the South Australian economy is for some improvement. The South Australian Department of Treasury and Finance has forecast employment growth of 1% in 2019-20. Over the five years to May 2023, employment in South Australia is projected to increase by 4.5% (compared with 7.1% growth projected nationally).
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, South Australia
For more information see lmip.gov.au