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Cairns

Employment by industry (Census)

Health Care and Social Assistance is the largest employer in Cairns, making up 15.3% of total employment.

Census employment data presents the number of persons employed in each industry sector (full-time and part-time) in Cairns regardless of where they live. By comparing the number of jobs in each industry sector to a regional benchmark, you can clearly see local economic strengths and weaknesses. By looking at how the number of jobs in each industry is changing over time, you can track how the structure of the local economy is changing. Go to the Employment locations page to see where employment is taking place across Cairns.

NOTE: Census employment figures are known to undercount employment by varying amounts depending on the Census year. All Census counts are an undercount of total population, and in addition, some people don’t state their workforce status or industry. Also counts by place of work exclude those with no fixed workplace address. For this reason, it is recommended that for total job numbers, users look at the Employment by industry (Total) modelled estimates which are updated on an annual basis, and based on the ABS Labour Force survey, less prone to undercount. The Census counts by industry are included here for a greater level of industry detail (3-digit ANZSIC).

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) – Census 2011 (experimental imputed) & 2016 – by place of work

Please note – The 2016 Census used a new methodology to “impute” a work location to people who didn’t state their workplace address. As a result, 2016 and 2011 place of work data are not normally comparable. To allow comparison between 2011 and 2016, .id has sourced a 2011 dataset from the ABS which was experimentally imputed using the same methodology. To provide this detail, Cairns in 2011 had to be constructed from a best fit of Work Destination Zones (DZNs). While it may not be an exact match to the LGA or region boundary, it is considered close enough to allow some comparison. Users should treat this time series data with caution, however, and not compare directly with 2011 data from any other source.

Did you know? By clicking/tapping on a data row in the table you will be able to see sub categories.
Employment (Census) by industry sector
Cairns 20162011Change
Industry
(Click rows to view sub-categories)
Number%Regional QLD %Number%Regional QLD %2011 to 2016
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing1,0601.64.97921.24.9+268
Mining2170.33.72330.44.1-16
Manufacturing2,6283.95.83,3375.27.9-709
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services6200.91.26491.01.3-29
Construction4,5226.77.64,4586.97.9+64
Wholesale Trade1,6182.42.32,1333.33.2-515
Retail Trade7,62111.310.78,07312.611.7-452
Accommodation and Food Services7,13010.68.76,54510.28.4+585
Transport, Postal and Warehousing4,1796.24.34,2426.64.5-63
Information Media and Telecommunications5630.81.06561.01.0-93
Financial and Insurance Services1,0791.61.81,1801.82.0-101
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services1,4492.12.01,3592.11.9+90
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services3,2614.84.53,3515.24.6-90
Administrative and Support Services2,6784.03.22,0733.22.7+605
Public Administration and Safety5,4178.06.05,4738.56.0-56
Education and Training6,2499.39.25,5198.68.1+730
Health Care and Social Assistance10,31115.313.28,73713.611.8+1,574
Arts and Recreation Services1,3272.01.71,1721.81.5+155
Other Services2,9364.44.02,7564.34.0+180
Industry not classified2,5863.84.21,5732.42.4+1,013

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2011 and 2016. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Employment (Census) by industry sector, 2016
Employment (Census) by industry sector, 2016 Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Regional QLD: 4.9% Mining, Regional QLD: 3.7% Manufacturing, Regional QLD: 5.8% Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services, Regional QLD: 1.2% Construction, Regional QLD: 7.6% Wholesale Trade, Regional QLD: 2.3% Retail Trade, Regional QLD: 10.7% Accommodation and Food Services, Regional QLD: 8.7% Transport, Postal and Warehousing, Regional QLD: 4.3% Information Media and Telecommunications, Regional QLD: 1.0% Financial and Insurance Services, Regional QLD: 1.8% Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services, Regional QLD: 2.0% Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Regional QLD: 4.5% Administrative and Support Services, Regional QLD: 3.2% Public Administration and Safety, Regional QLD: 6.0% Education and Training, Regional QLD: 9.2% Health Care and Social Assistance, Regional QLD: 13.2% Arts and Recreation Services, Regional QLD: 1.7% Other Services, Regional QLD: 4.0% Industry not classified, Regional QLD: 4.2% Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Cairns: 1.6% Mining, Cairns: 0.3% Manufacturing, Cairns: 3.9% Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services, Cairns: 0.9% Construction, Cairns: 6.7% Wholesale Trade, Cairns: 2.4% Retail Trade, Cairns: 11.3% Accommodation and Food Services, Cairns: 10.6% Transport, Postal and Warehousing, Cairns: 6.2% Information Media and Telecommunications, Cairns: 0.8% Financial and Insurance Services, Cairns: 1.6% Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services, Cairns: 2.1% Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Cairns: 4.8% Administrative and Support Services, Cairns: 4.0% Public Administration and Safety, Cairns: 8.0% Education and Training, Cairns: 9.3% Health Care and Social Assistance, Cairns: 15.3% Arts and Recreation Services, Cairns: 2.0% Other Services, Cairns: 4.4% Industry not classified, Cairns: 3.8%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2016
Compiled and presented in economy.id by .id, the population experts.
Change in employment (Census) by industry sector, 2011 to 2016
Change in employment (Census) by industry sector, 2011 to 2016 Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Cairns: +268 Mining, Cairns: -16 Manufacturing, Cairns: -709 Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services, Cairns: -29 Construction, Cairns: +64 Wholesale Trade, Cairns: -515 Retail Trade, Cairns: -452 Accommodation and Food Services, Cairns: +585 Transport, Postal and Warehousing, Cairns: -63 Information Media and Telecommunications, Cairns: -93 Financial and Insurance Services, Cairns: -101 Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services, Cairns: +90 Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Cairns: -90 Administrative and Support Services, Cairns: +605 Public Administration and Safety, Cairns: -56 Education and Training, Cairns: +730 Health Care and Social Assistance, Cairns: +1,574 Arts and Recreation Services, Cairns: +155 Other Services, Cairns: +180 Industry not classified, Cairns: +1,013
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 and 2016
Compiled and presented in economy.id by .id, the population experts.

Dominant groups

An analysis of the jobs held by the local workers in Cairns in 2016 shows the three most popular industry sectors were:

  • Health Care and Social Assistance (10,311 local workers 15.3%)
  • Retail Trade (7,621 local workers 11.3%)
  • Accommodation and Food Services (7,130 local workers 10.6%)

In combination these three industries employed 25,062 people in total or 37.2% of local workers.

In comparison, Regional QLD employed 13.2% in Health Care and Social Assistance; 10.7% in Retail Trade; and 8.7% in Accommodation and Food Services.

The major differences between the jobs held by local workers of Cairns and Regional QLD were:

  • A larger percentage of local workers employed in Health Care and Social Assistance (15.3% compared to 13.2%)
  • A larger percentage of local workers employed in Public Administration and Safety (8.0% compared to 6.0%)
  • A smaller percentage of local workers employed in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (1.6% compared to 4.9%)
  • A smaller percentage of local workers employed in Mining (0.3% compared to 3.7%)

Emerging groups

The largest changes in the jobs held by local workers between 2011 and 2016 in Cairns were for those employed in:

  • Health Care and Social Assistance (+1,574 local workers)
  • Industry not classified (+1,013 local workers)
  • Education and Training (+730 local workers)
  • Manufacturing (-709 local workers)

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