Job hunting? Here's the employment sectors in growth

Posted: 22nd Sep

If you are looking for a job, you'll find it in healthcare.

More than 130,000 Australians found health sector work in the past year and more than 500,000 in the past decade, double the number in construction and professional services – the next fastest employment growing industries.

That is the verdict of the latest jobs figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, released on Thursday, which show an ageing population and record numbers of homes being built have created not just sharp yearly surges but career-making trends.

On the other end of the spectrum, manufacturing has managed to reverse a decade of terminal decline to add 900 jobs since August last year, but the blue collar sector still has 132,000 fewer workers than it had a decade ago on the back of country-wide factory closures, automation and globalisation.

The long employment drag of the end of the mining boom may be nearing its end, according to the Reserve Bank, and it's reflected in Thursday's bureau figures.

While mining shed 52,000 jobs between 2012 and 2017, it lost just 700 in the past year.

Agriculture, which dropped workers by the tens of thousands over the same period has ridden record harvests in every state to push agricultural growth by an extraordinary 27.6 per cent in 2016.

In the past year alone it added 27,000 jobs on our farms and fisheries, but it's far from the fastest grower in the three months to August.

Agriculture, which shed jobs by the tens of thousands between 2007 and 2012 has ridden record harvests in every state.  Photo: Louie Douvis

"Governments of all description are spending money on infrastructure, including roads, bridges, tunnels, hospitals and schools, to meet the needs of a growing population," said CommSec's chief economist Craig James.

"So it makes sense that the construction sector is leading the job gains."


He said job creation in the past six months "has been nothing short of hectic".

"The industry employment data stretches back almost 33 years to November 1984 and there has never been a bigger six-month period of job creation."

The story of the nation's changing labour force is reflected in the story of its two largest states.

In NSW and Victoria, education has, along with healthcare and construction, been a leading job creator. Over the past decade it added 100,000 jobs in NSW and 56,000 in Victoria as the international student sector and an insatiable demand for qualifications drive employment in the schools, vocational and tertiary sectors.

Professional services centred in the Sydney and Melbourne CBDs have enjoyed surges since 2007 – of more than 120,000 in NSW, and up to 60,000 in Victoria.

The overall figures don't reflect the economy-wide growth in part-time employment, which has now risen steadily to account for nearly one-third of total employment, according to a Reserve Bank bulletin released on Wednesday.

Of those, more than half are casually employed, with no paid holidays or sick leave, and most are either aged under 25 or female.

SEPTEMBER 21 2017 - Eryk Bagshaw - The Age