Employment projections for the decade ahead

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    Aggregate growth

    Total employment in the Australian economy is projected to increase by around 6.5% over the next 5 years to stand at 14.8 million, and 14.2% over the next 10 years, to stand at 15.9 million. That is, around 2 million more people will be employed in the Australian economy in 2033 than presently.

    All industries are expected to grow

    While growth across industries is broad-based, the greatest growth, by far, is expected in Health Care and Social Assistance, with its share of total employment projected to increase from 15.2% in 2023 to 16.7% in 2033. Other sectors expected to increase their employment significantly, in terms of actual increases in persons employed, are Professional, Scientific and Technical Services and Education and Training (Figure 2). After a long period of decline in its share of employment, Manufacturing is expected to experience significant growth in employment and slightly increase its share of total employment over the decade ahead. Mining is also expected to grow strongly in percentage terms over the next 10 years.

    Figure 2: Employment projections by industry, May 2023 to May 2033, persons

    Source: Projections produced by Victoria University for Jobs and Skills Australia

    Occupational variations

    The occupation groups projected to experience the strongest employment growth, in terms of actual increases in persons employed, in the next decade are Professionals, Managers, and Community and Personal Service Workers.

    It is anticipated that the shift towards employment in occupations such as Professionals and Managers will continue over the next decade, with these 2 groups constituting 39.1% share of total employment in May 2023, and projected to make up 40.7% of employment in May 2033. The continued trend of growth in care and support occupations is also expected to continue with Community and Personal Services Workers expected to make up 11.4% of those employed in May 2033, compared to 11.1% in May 2023.

    Demand for VET and higher education graduates is expected to grow strongly

    Over the next 10 years, more than 9 out of 10 new jobs (around 92%) expected to be created will require post-secondary qualifications (Skill Levels 1 to 4). Around half (48.4%) will require a bachelor degree or higher qualification as the primary education training pathway (Skill Level 1), and around 44% will have VET as the primary pathway (Skill Levels 2 to 4) (Table 3).

    Table 3: Projections by skill level, May 2023 to May 2033, persons

    Skill Level Employed, May 2023 (000s) May 2033 Projection (000s) 10-year employment growth (000s) Share of 10-year employment growth (%)
    Skill Level 1 4,811 5,766 955 48.4%
    Skill Level 2 1,720 1,941 221 11.2%
    Skill Level 3 2,049 2,275 226 11.5%
    Skill Level 4 3,322 3,744 422 21.4%
    Skill Level 5 2,012 2,162 150 7.6%
    Total 13,915 15,889 1,974 100.0%

    Source: Projections produced by Victoria University for Jobs and Skills Australia Note: Skill Level 1 relates to bachelor degree or higher qualification; Skill Level 2 relates to advanced diploma or diploma; Skill Level 3 relates to Certificate IV or III (including at least 2 years on-the-job training); Skill Level 4 relates to Certificate II or III; Skill Level 5 relates to Certificate I or secondary education.

    All states and territories are expected to experience employment growth

    The employment growth across states and territories is expected to be in the range of around 12 to 16% over the next decade. The strongest percentage growth is expected in Victoria and the weakest in South Australia, with largest absolute growth being in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

    Many of the same drivers and pressures for increased numbers of tertiary qualified workers, increases in health and care, greater digital skills and increased capability in the clean energy sector, are anticipated in all jurisdictions. Regional variations will be an increasing focus of our work going forward.

    It will be important to work with partners across jurisdictions and sectors, including with Jobs and Skills Councils and states and territories, to enhance the employment projections over time and make them more accessible to better inform workforce planning and decision-making.