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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.

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

2020 Industry Employment Outlook (Word) (1.1MB) 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)

The 2020 employment projections for industry by region will be published in the coming months. Subscribe to the LMIP newsletter (subscribe button is located in the footer of this page) to receive updates as each set of projections are released.

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.

Occupation Resilience Framework

After the significant initial impact of COVID-19 on the labour market, the NSC recognised the need to provide timely insights into current and future job opportunities. This helps to ensure job search and study or training decisions are informed by the best available labour market intelligence of the recovery path the economy is taking. The Occupational Resilience Framework was developed as a result and was used to support the JobTrainer Fund to help ensure supported training places are targeted to areas of future skills needs.

This framework ranked occupations at the four-digit level of ANZSCO in terms of their relative short to medium-term employment growth prospects. It continued to evolve and adapt to labour market developments, and with the release of the February quarter ABS Labour Force Survey data, the framework assigned each occupation a score out of five for two components.

 1) Pre-pandemic employment growth expectations, based on the National Skills Commission employment projections for occupations for the five years to May 2024

 2) COVID-19 labour demand recovery so far, comparing to pre-pandemic levels employment and hours worked from the ABS Labour Force Survey and online job advertisements from the National Skills Commission’s Internet Vacancy Index

The overall resilience score is a summation across these two components.

Please note this is expected to be the final update to the Occupation Resilience Framework due to the labour market recovery observed so far. The framework has been superseded by the occupation employment projections for the five years to November 2025 and the forthcoming Skills Priority List , to be released mid year.

National Occupation Resilience Scores (82.1KB)

It should be noted that occupational resilience is an analysis framework that provides an indication of the relative employment strength of occupations. Jobs growth is not confined to occupations that have higher resilience scores, and as the economy continues to recover, more and more occupations are likely to see solid and sustained increases in employment.

2019 Employment Projections - for the five years to May 2024

The 2019 employment projections do not take account of any impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and are therefore no longer reflective of current labour market conditions. As such, they should be used, and interpreted, with extreme caution.

The 2019 projections are based on June 2019 LFS data for total employment, the May 2019 LFS industry employment data and the forecasted and projected total employment growth rates published in the 2019-20 Budget.

Regional projections – interactive tool (Excel) (2.2MB) Regional projections – five years to May 2024 (Excel) (925.3KB)

If you are having trouble accessing the Regional Projections - interactive tool (excel file located above), please open our Common Issues file (Word) (57.7KB) For more information about file types, please go to our File Types page.

Employment Outlook to May 2024

The Employment Outlook to May 2024 provides an overview of the employment outlook across industries, occupations, states and territories, and regions.

Employment Outlook to May 2024 (Word) (1.1MB)

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.