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2020 Employment Projections - for the five years to November 2025

Employment is projected to increase in 17 of the 19 broad industries over the five years to November 2025. Health Care and Social Assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth over the period (increasing by 249,500), followed by Accommodation and Food Services (139,900), Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (131,100), and Education and Training (118,600). Together, these four industries are projected to generate over three-fifths (or 64.4 per cent) of total employment growth over the five years to November 2025.

Each year, the National Skills Commission produces employment projections by industry, occupation, skill level and region for the following five-year period. These employment projections are designed to provide a guide to the future direction of the labour market, however, like all such exercises, they are subject to an inherent degree of uncertainty.

The 2020 employment projections are based on the forecast and projected total employment growth rates published in the 2020-21 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), November 2020 Labour Force Survey (LFS) data for total employment, and the detailed quarterly LFS data (November 2020) for industry employment data.

Please note that due to the unprecedented changes in labour market indicators as a result of COVID-19, the ABS ceased the publication of trend estimates in March 2020, which have in the past been a key component for the employment projections. Seasonally adjusted data, which are more volatile, have been used instead.

The regional employment projections for the five years to November 2025 do not include projections for SA4 areas due to the large disruption to the data caused by COVID-19 combined with the small scale of these series. Employment projections for state/territory and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas are available in the data file below.

This ongoing uncertainty and volatility in the labour market and the cessation of the ABS trend series introduces more uncertainty to the employment projections than existed in previous years.

The Employment Outlook to November 2025 provides an overview of the employment outlook across industries, occupations, states and territories, and regions.

A dashboard is also available for users to explore the industry, occupation and regional employment projections.

2020 Industry Employment Outlook (Word) (1.1MB) Employment Outlook to November 2025 (Word) (260.3KB) Employment Outlook Dashboard Industry projections – five years to November 2025 (Excel) (49.8KB) Occupation projections – five years to November 2025 (Excel) (82.5KB) Skill Level projections – five years to November 2025 (Excel) (24.5KB) Regional projections – five years to November 2025 (Excel) (748.4KB)

Methodology for 2020 Employment Projections

The employment projections are based on detailed data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force Survey. The projections have been derived from best practice time series models that summarise the information that is in a time series and convert it into a forecast. The projections are made by combining forecasts from autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) and exponential smoothing with damped trend (ESWDT) models, with some adjustments made to take account of research undertaken by the NSC and known future industry developments. The projection for total employment growth is consistent with employment growth to November 2020 and the Government’s forecasts and projections for total employment growth from 2020-21 onwards, as published in the 2020-21 MYEFO.

These projections are for total employment (i.e. both full-time and part-time employment), according to the definition of ‘employed’ used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in the Labour Force Survey. For more information about the definition of employment, please go to the ABS website. Labour Force Survey data are collected by the ABS on a place of usual residence basis. The scope of the survey also excludes some groups of people (such as temporary overseas workers and permanent defence force personnel). For more information about the Labour Force Survey sample design, please go to the ABS website.


Supporting data

Employment Projections

Where will the jobs be in the future? The National Skills Commission projects employment growth over the next five years by region, industry, and occupation.

Vacancy Report

Online job advertising levels and trends by region, occupation and skill level are detailed in the monthly vacancy report.

Employers’ Recruitment Insights

The National Skills Commission surveys businesses to monitor recruitment conditions across Australia and provide insights into what employers are looking for.

Workforce Shortages

The National Skills Commission carries out research to identify workforce shortages at the state, territory and/or national level for around 80 occupations.