Health and community services drives job growth

The industry behind the highest economic growth for Australia is quietly the largest employer. And it’s one we all know quite well.

The latest Labour Market data from the ABS shows that Health Care and Social Assistance is the largest workforce. It is the biggest economic driver of job growth and represents 13.5 per cent of Australian workers. This is slightly higher in Queensland, where it represents 14.7 per cent of the workforce.

Traditionally our industry has been behind the scenes, diligently growing and providing jobs that keep the economy thriving, even in times of trouble.

This is backed up by the numbers, putting Health Care and Social Assistance well ahead of mining, construction and retail.

And as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is rolled out we are going to experience an even higher growth. But before that comes along it’s important to understand where we have been.

How did the industry contribute to job growth?

The past 12 months provides a fascinating snapshot into this growth.

Health and community services grew by 77,000 new jobs during this time, providing a generous 60 per cent of all new jobs in Queensland. No other industry has come close.  

But this is a phenomenon we have seen over the years – the pattern of strong employment growth has been clear for some time.

In the past 10 years Health Care and Social Assistance has grown by 161,000 new jobs, making up 45 per cent of the overall jobs growth in Queensland.

Even though the industry in Queensland is out-performing the national average, health and community services jobs are still the main driver of employment growth across Australia. In the last ten years 31 per cent of the country’s jobs growth has been in health and community services.

What do you need to know?

The historical data shows us that the industry will continue to grow. The NDIS is forecast to bring in a significant growth in new jobs as well as the need for services as the Queensland population grows.

It’s important in our business planning to take this growth into consideration. How will we manage the new workforce? How will greater competition for workers affect your business? Where are the opportunities for your business in this growth? How do you sustain it?

Without the industry, the economy in Queensland wouldn’t be as strong as it is today. Health and community services is a leading economic driver. We must continue to nurture our growth now and into the future.