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.
|Employment (Census) by industry sector|
|Industry (Click rows to view sub-categories)||Number||%||Regional QLD %||Number||%||Regional QLD %||2011 to 2016|
|Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing||1,060||1.6||4.9||792||1.2||4.9||+268||25000||P|
|Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services||620||0.9||1.2||649||1.0||1.3||-29||28000||P|
|Accommodation and Food Services||7,130||10.6||8.7||6,545||10.2||8.4||+585||32000||P|
|Transport, Postal and Warehousing||4,179||6.2||4.3||4,242||6.6||4.5||-63||33000||P|
|Information Media and Telecommunications||563||0.8||1.0||656||1.0||1.0||-93||34000||P|
|Financial and Insurance Services||1,079||1.6||1.8||1,180||1.8||2.0||-101||35000||P|
|Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services||1,449||2.1||2.0||1,359||2.1||1.9||+90||36000||P|
|Professional, Scientific and Technical Services||3,261||4.8||4.5||3,351||5.2||4.6||-90||37000||P|
|Administrative and Support Services||2,678||4.0||3.2||2,073||3.2||2.7||+605||38000||P|
|Public Administration and Safety||5,417||8.0||6.0||5,473||8.5||6.0||-56||39000||P|
|Education and Training||6,249||9.3||9.2||5,519||8.6||8.1||+730||40000||P|
|Health Care and Social Assistance||10,311||15.3||13.2||8,737||13.6||11.8||+1,574||41000||P|
|Arts and Recreation Services||1,327||2.0||1.7||1,172||1.8||1.5||+155||42000||P|
|Industry not classified||2,586||3.8||4.2||1,573||2.4||2.4||+1,013||44000||P|
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing (opens a new window) 2011 and 2016. Compiled and presented by .id (opens a new window), the population experts.
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%)
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)