The changing face of Australia’s fastest growing industries for employment

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As the Australian economy transitions away from resources and towards service-based industries, IBISWorld has identified Clothing Retailing, Physiotherapy Services, Meat Processing, Oil and Gas Extraction, Private Schools and Government Schools as the industries anticipated to offer the fastest growth in employment in 2015-16 and over the next five years.

Growing wages and demand for skilled employees will provide solid opportunities for employment over the next five years, as the economy transitions from manufacturing to service and knowledge-based industries. Demand for professionals with advanced degrees is expected to rise and more employees are likely to upskill or reskill to satisfy growing employer requirements for knowledgeable staff.

Clothing Retailing
IBISWorld report G4251

The Clothing Retailing industry is a typically labour-intensive industry, as employees are required to stock shelves, provide customer service, process transactions and manage inventory. Over the next five years, new technologies will improve productivity, increasing the use of casual workers. Although advancements in technology reduce the reliance on staff to complete manual tasks, competition from online stores will lead many retailers to attempt to differentiate their brands by offering a superior level of customer service. This will influence employment across the industry, which is expected to grow by 6.4% in 2015-16.

The number of employees varies across the Clothing Retailing industry depending on store size and levels of customer service. Up-market stores typically require a higher staff-to-customer ratio to provide superior service. Employees’ average wages have increased as a result of the General Retail Industry Award, which was introduced in January 2010. Although this award benefits employees, higher wage costs may lead some industry firms to limit the number of employees hired. Most operators in the Clothing Retailing industry employ between one and 19 staff, and only 0.6% of industry enterprises employ more than 200 staff. IBISWorld expects employment in the Clothing Retailing industry to continue to grow over the next five years, as state governments gradually deregulate trading hours. This will allow shops to stay open longer, requiring more staff and boosting employee numbers.

Physiotherapy Services
IBISWorld report Q8533

The Physiotherapy Services industry is forecast to grow in 2015-16, and expand further over the next five years. Employment in the industry is forecast to rise by 2.5% annualised over the five years through 2020-21, to reach over 23,000 staff. This is in line with forecast employment growth of 2.3% in 2015-16, largely due to demand growth. Cost is becoming less of an impediment for patients in accessing physiotherapy services, as these can often be covered by private health insurance. Demand is also rising as the population ages, as older Australian are more likely to require physiotherapy services. These factors are providing opportunities for new establishments to open, which will require new employees. Combined with physiotherapy positions in hospitals, these new establishments will offer graduate physiotherapists reasonably strong employment prospects. This is likely to continue as private health insurance coverage is anticipated to grow further over the next five years, while the ageing population will provide additional support for physiotherapy services.

Meat Processing
IBISWorld report C1111

The Meat Processing industry is expected to expand over the next five years, as operators benefit from Free Trade Agreements with China, Japan and Korea and demand for Australian beef increases strongly. Revenue is expected to grow by 8.4% annualised over the five years through 2015-16, which will encourage processors to expand production to meet the growing demand for Australian beef from nearby Asian nations. Industry expansion will provide opportunities for employment, as operators will require additional staff to meet this demand.

This trend is expected to continue over the next five years, as IBISWorld forecasts industry employment to grow at an annualised 2.9% over the five years through 2020-21. Although overall employment has grown, increased automation in the industry has meant that individual operators have required fewer staff, which has reduced the number of employees per establishment over the past five years. However, overall employment growth in the industry is expected to continue, driven by the Free Trade Agreements, which will support industry exports and revenue growth.

Oil and Gas Extraction
IBISWorld report B0700

Australia is rich in coal seam gas, shale gas and shale oil, and the Oil and Gas Extraction industry is expected to provide strong opportunities for employment over the next five years. Industry revenue is forecast to grow at an annualised 10.2% over the five years through 2020-21, to reach $66.8 billion. Employment numbers are also expected to grow over this period, exceeding 27,500 employees in 2020-21. This strong revenue and employment growth will be largely driven by rising output. Total output in the industry is forecast to reach 514 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2015-16, which represents a 16.6% increase over the previous year. Employment in the Oil and Gas Extraction industry is expected to grow by 4.9% in the current year, as several new gas projects begin production. Employment numbers are projected to grow further over the next five years, as the industry continues its transition to large-scale LNG production and exports, and rising output increases demand for employees.

Private Schools and Government Schools
IBISWorld reports P8025 and P8026

Employment in the Private Schools industry is expected to grow in 2015-16 and over the next five years to meet increasing demand. Over the past five years, enrolment in non-government schools has grown at a faster rate than enrolment in public schools. This enrolment growth has boosted revenue from tuition fees for private schools. In an effort to compete with state schools, private schools are aiming to improve staff-to-student ratios, and state agreements with teachers’ unions have forced private schools to increase teachers’ salaries.

Government schools are facing similar increases in demand, which is boosting employment numbers. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) introduced a National Youth Participation Requirement in 2010, making it compulsory for all students to complete year 10, and then participate in full-time education, training or employment until they are at least 17 years of age. This trend has increased demand for teachers as children are staying in school longer and retention rates are higher. Although the staff-to-student ratio in public schools has fallen slightly over the past five years, increased funding could potentially boost employment over the next five years.


IBISWorld reports used to develop this report:

G4251 – Clothing Retailing

Q8533 – Physiotherapy Services

C1111 – Meat Processing

B0700 – Oil and Gas Extraction

P8025 – Private Schools

P8026 – Government Schools


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For more information, to obtain industry reports or to speak with an analyst, please contact:

Anne Wild / Shae Courtney

IBISWorld Media Relations Representatives – Anne Wild & Associates Pty Ltd

Tel: (02) 9440 0414

Mobile: 0420 736 136



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