Australian manufacturing has seen its biggest employment growth in a decade.
According to report Manufacturing: A moment of opportunity, Australian manufacturing jobs have increased by 40,000 in the past year, and productivity has returned to near its pre-financial crisis peak.
Indeed, trend employment data from the Bureau of Statistics shows that manufacturing saw the second-biggest growth in employment of any Australian industry, surpassed only by public administration and safety (80,000 new jobs).
According to the report, quarterly gross operating profits reached almost $8 billion in the March quarter, which is the highest in several years. Furthermore, the value of Australian-made products sold to international markets has increased significantly in recent years, from $80 billion in 2009 to a record high of more than $100 billion in the past year.
Therefore, the report has argued that the leaders of all Australian political parties need to re-commit to manufacturing, and give the sector greater priority in economic policy-making.