This image shows that there were 1,204,100 people employed as Labourers as at November 2017, up 1.5% since November 2016 and 4.5% since November 2012. Employment is projected to grow by 5.3% over the five years to May 2022.
41% of jobs are regional (no change over 5 years).
35% of workers are female (no change over 5 years).
40% of workers hold post-school qualifications (up 5 percentage points over 5 years).
47% of jobs are part-time (up 4 percentage points over 5 years).
The median age is 39 years (down 1 percentage point over 5 years).

Top 5 Labourer Occupations

Top 5 Labourer Occupations
Occupation Number
Commercial Cleaners 147,400
Kitchenhands 135,900
Building and Plumbing Labourers 71,200
Shelf Fillers 67,100
Packers 62,500

Employment, Labourers (‘000)

This line chart shows the number of people employed in the Labourers occupation group over the period from November 1997 to November 2017. The chart shows there was subdued employment growth over this period to 1,204,100 in November 2017.

Labourers perform a variety of routine and repetitive physical tasks. Some Labourer jobs require physical fitness (like Building and Plumbing Labourers) but not all involve heavy work (for example, Fast Food Cooks). Over the past five years, this occupation group had subdued employment growth and advertised job numbers for Labourers are at historically low levels.

Labourers do not generally possess post-school qualifications, a large share are aged 15 to 24 years and part-time work is common, suggesting that there are good opportunities for young people to combine work with study.

Labourers employment is projected to grow by 5.3% over the five years to May 2022.

Educational attainment, Labourers (%)

Shows the educational attainment profile of the Labourers workforce.  Bachelor degree or higher 8%. Certificate III or higher VET qualification 24%. Other qualification 8%. No post-school qualification 60%.

Age profile, Labourers (%)

Shows the age profile of the Labourers workforce. 23% aged 15 to 24 years. 20% aged 25 to 34 years. 17% aged 35 to 44 years. 20% aged 45 to 54 years. 20% aged 55 years or older.

Did you know?
16% of Labourers are combining work with study

Sources: ABS, Labour Force (trend and annual averages of original data); ABS, Census of Population and Housing; ABS, Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations; Department of Jobs and Small Business, Occupation Employment Projections; Department of Jobs and Small Business, Internet Vacancy Index

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