No more decline in manufacturing jobs; small growth projected

A report by the Department of Jobs and Small Business shows the long-term decline in manufacturing employment could be abating, with growth of 8,500 (0.9 per cent) jobs projected over the next five years.

The projections, part of the report released by the Department on 17 August 2018, estimates that total employment in all sectors will increase by 886,100 (7.1 per cent) to May 2023.

The projections are based on the forecasted and projected total employment growth rates published in the 2018-19 Budget, Labour Force Survey data (June 2018) for total employment, and the most recent detailed quarterly Labour Force Survey data (May 2018) for industry employment data.

Though the projected growth in manufacturing sector employment is small – particularly if compared to the growth projected in service industries such as health care and social assistance (14.9 per cent) and construction (10 per cent) – it shows a positive trend for the manufacturing sector.

Jobs and Small Business Data Analyst Ivan Neville said the report provided a reliable indicator of future jobs growth.

“Perhaps the most surprising aspect is the projected, albeit small, increase in jobs in manufacturing,” Ivan said.

“This glimmer of hope reflects the increased competitiveness provided by the lower Australian dollar combined with an increased focus on adding value in global supply chains rather than in basic manufacturing,” he said.

The projections, to May 2023, indicate that the long-term structural shift in employment towards services industries will continue.

The sectors projected to have the largest employment increases over this period are:

  • Health Care and Social Assistance – increasing by 250,300 (14.9 per cent)
  • Construction – increasing by 118,800 (10 per cent)
  • Education and Training – increasing by 113,000 (11.2 per cent)
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services – increasing by 106,600 (10.2 per cent)

Only two industries are projected to experience a decline in employment:

  • Wholesale Trade – falling by 9,700 (2.7 per cent)
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing – falling by 1,400 (0.4 per cent)

“These projections – and other useful labour market information on Job Outlook – can help those considering employment options to plan their career pathway,” Ivan said.