Australian employment thriving through change

Senior Project Officer with Dubbo Regional Council Luke Cameron is smiling at the camera. He’s wearing a white shirt with a blue suit jacket

Luke Cameron, from Dubbo Regional Council, uses the department’s regional projections to plan for the changing employment market the Dubbo Regional, Gilgandra and Narromine Council areas

This story was first published on Friday 7 February 2020. If you wish to use this content, please contact to confirm that the information is still current.

Projections show that total employment in Australia will increase by 1,075,000, or 8.3 per cent, over the five years to May 2024.

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment produces these employment projections every year for industries, occupations, skill levels and regions, ensuring employers, job seekers and policy makers understand where the job opportunities are likely to be in the future.

The department projects employment to increase in 16 of the 19 broad industries over the next five years, highlighting growth across a diverse range of sectors.

More than 60 per cent of the projected employment growth is in the ‘big four’ services industries, with Health Care and Social Assistance projected to grow by 252,600, followed by Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (172,400), Education and Training (129,300) and Construction (113,700).

Labour market analyst Ivan Neville said the projections provide insights into the challenges facing the Australian economy.

“The strong projected growth in industries providing essential services shows that the Australian labour market is responding to the demographic challenges it faces with an ageing but also growing population.

“Workers are being hired to build roads, and there is a growing number of schools and hospitals that need to be filled with teachers and nurses.”

Ivan conceded, however, that the outlook for some industries is less positive, with employment expected to decline in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (down by 3,800), Manufacturing (3,400) and Information Media and Telecommunications (600) industries.

“Extreme weather events and the extended drought conditions in much of Australia has led to a negative outlook for the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing industry,” Ivan explained.

“Manufacturing employment is also projected to decline, albeit at a slower pace, as the lower Australian dollar continues to support exports and as the industry adjusts to the emergence of new technologies that open up new production opportunities.”

Across the states and territories employment is projected to increase, with New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland to make the largest contributions to employment growth, increasing by 368,000, 329,900 and 211,700 respectively.

Almost three quarters (74.1 per cent) of total projected growth is concentrated in the metropolitan areas, with employment in these areas is to increase by 9.0 per cent compared with 7.1 per cent for regional Australia.

“Growth industries in metropolitan areas include Health Care and Social Assistance, Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Education and Training and Construction,” Ivan said.

“In regional areas, one third of projected total employment growth is in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry alone, almost as much as the next three largest growing industries combined – Education and Training, Construction, and Accommodation and Food Services.”

Dubbo Regional Council used the employment projections data in a report on job opportunities within the Dubbo Regional, Gilgandra and Narromine Council areas.

Senior Project Officer with Dubbo Regional Council, Luke Cameron, said they are currently working with the regional projections to see where the likely growth is and which industries are likely to have high skills demands.

“The data has been very insightful,” Luke said.

“We are using it to plan ahead and ensure our region has access to education and training opportunities to meet future needs.”

The full set of employment projections, along with reports on the data, are published on the Labour Market Information Portal. Employment projections also feature prominently on the Job Outlook website, which helps people make informed decisions about their careers, job search, study and training.

More information

Correct at time of publication.