Australian Manufacturing Jobs

Australian Manufacturing Jobs

In some recent conversations it became clear to me that most people I talk to in Australia don’t understand both how large the Australian Manufacturing sector is or how critical manufacturing is to Australian Employment and Australian Financial Prosperity.


In Modern Economies Need Manufacturing I cited research by Professor Goran Roos showing the relationship between economic growth, competitiveness, employment and industry sectors. Here is the condensed version covering just the impact of manufacturing on employment.


  • There are approximately 1,000,000 direct jobs in Australian Manufacturing
  • There are another 2,500,000 indirect jobs needed to support those 1,000,000 Australian Manufacturing Jobs
  • So there are 3,500,000 jobs in Australia either directly or indirectly dependent on local Australian Manufacture
  • These jobs support another 3,500,000 Australians
  • So there are 7,000,000 Australians dependent on Australian Manufacturing for their financial support


So there is the first figure. Roughly 1 in 3 Australians are dependent on local Australian Manufacturing for their financial support.


As an engineer, the exact figures tend to be better when you can get them. Fortunately the Australian Bureau of Statistics keeps records of all the required data so here is the more accurate version.


The were 11,421,300 jobs in Australia in December 2011 of which 953,500 were in manufacturing so therefore:


(1 + 2.5) x 953,500 / 11,421,300 = 29.2% of all Australian full time jobs are dependent on Australian Manufacturing. This is figure 2.


With 22,620,600 as the official population we have:


2 x (1 + 2.5) x 953,500 / 22,620,600 = 29.5% of the population is dependent on Australian Manufacturing for their financial support. This is figure 3.


So this shows just how much we are dependent on a strong and healthy local Australian Manufacturing Industry. Figures 2 and 3 show that both our financial future and employment are critically dependent on manufacturing.


Australian Emploment Breakdown by Sector

Australian Emploment Breakdown by Sector

The above graph is created from figures taken from the November 2011 ABS figures for employment.


In Australia, the only three sectors that create more direct employment than manufacturing are Construction, Retail and Health Care. Mining comes in at 242,400 and only 4 of the 19 sectors tracked by the ABS provide less employment than mining.


Victorian Manufacturing

In Victoria where I live, manufacturing is:


  • the largest economic sector
  • the largest employment sector
  • the largest export sector


So there is the 4th figure. Manufacturing is the primary source of wealth creation in Victoria.


City Of Casey

City Of Casey

Even in the City of Casey on the edge of Gippsland, Manufacturing is still the largest economic sector. Nationally it is equal third largest tied with mining. Manufacturing is not the small and insignificant industry that the media portrays it as nor governments state and federal treat it as.


I am not a disinterested party in this either, and neither should any Australian be disinterested in this. Australia needs a vibrant local manufacturing sector for our economic prosperity to continue.


Yes we do need to be smart, and we do have to focus on specific sectors, but we must ensure the economic environment is right to encourage the expansion of local manufacture. Here is the short list we are working on supporting right now in our current project mix:


  • clean energy generation
  • energy efficiency
  • electricity grid control automation and power factor correction
  • transport
  • water conservation and recycling
  • biomedical
  • nanotechnology
  • industrial controls
  • scientific instrumentation
  • waste reduction and recycling


So this is my pick of where we should focus our efforts based on today’s technology.


And for those who want to rely on the Knowledge Economy, Professor Goran Roos has pointed out that it depends on manufacturing since that is what drives most innovation.


Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2011 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd