Cairns Regional Council

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Cairns

Employment by industry (Total)

In Cairns, Health Care and Social Assistance is the largest employer, generating 12,283 local jobs in 2018/19.

Employment (total) is the most accurate and up to date measure of the total number of people employed in Cairns. The statistics are modelled by NIEIR to correct for the known undercount of jobs recorded in the Census. They estimate the total number of persons employed in an industry sector (full-time and part-time) in Cairns regardless of where they live. They are updated annually.

By comparing the number of jobs in each industry sector to a regional benchmark, you can clearly see the structure of Cairns's economy. This can be done by directly comparing the area to its benchmark, or by using a location quotient to look at the relative size of industries.

Estimated total employment by industry should not be considered as a "Full-Time Equivalent" measure as different industries will have different ratios of part-time and full time employees. Full-time employment by industry statistics are also available.

To see how employment is distributed across the area, see the Employment locations section and to see where people come from to work in these industries, these data should be viewed in conjunction with Workers place of residence by industry data.

More granular sub-categories for each industry sector are available in the Employment by industry (Census) counts. While Census figures undercount employment they do provide a more detailed picture of the specific industries operating in the area.

Data source

National Economics (NIEIR) - Modelled series

Please note – Detailed notes about how the figures are derived can be found in the specific topic notes section.
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Employment (total) by industry
Cairns2018/192013/14Change
IndustryNumber%. Far North QueenslandNumber%. Far North Queensland2013/14 - 2018/19
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing1,1861.45.81,1371.56.1+49
Mining4660.61.85780.82.0-112
Manufacturing4,2645.25.23,4634.65.2+801
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services9501.21.28271.11.2+123
Construction9,47711.59.86,2488.37.8+3,229
Wholesale Trade2,0692.52.22,0752.82.5-5
Retail Trade8,89610.810.08,81511.810.8+81
Accommodation and Food Services8,1779.99.67,65310.29.4+524
Transport, Postal and Warehousing4,9536.05.55,0836.86.0-130
Information Media and Telecommunications7450.90.87341.00.9+11
Financial and Insurance Services1,6001.91.61,2501.71.4+350
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services1,6752.01.71,5192.01.8+156
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services3,8574.74.23,8315.14.3+26
Administrative and Support Services2,8113.43.23,0424.13.7-230
Public Administration and Safety6,4377.88.25,9487.98.1+490
Education and Training7,0848.68.86,8029.18.9+282
Health Care and Social Assistance12,28314.913.811,03914.713.5+1,243
Arts and Recreation Services1,6742.01.91,4702.01.9+205
Other Services3,8634.74.63,3704.54.6+493
Total industries82,469100.0100.074,883100.0100.0+7,586

Source: National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) ©2019. Compiled and presented in economy.id by .id the population experts. NIEIR-ID data are adjusted each year, using updated employment estimates. Each release may change previous years’ figures. Learn more

Please refer to specific data notes for more information
Did you know? By clicking/tapping on a category in the chart below you will be able to drilldown to the sub categories.
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Dominant groups

An analysis of the jobs held by the local workers in Cairns in 2018/19 shows the three largest industries were:

  • Health Care and Social Assistance (12,283 people or 14.9%)
  • Construction (9,477 people or 11.5%)
  • Retail Trade (8,896 people or 10.8%)

In combination these three fields accounted for 30,656 people in total or 37.2% of the local workers.

In comparison, Far North Queensland employed 13.8% in Health Care and Social Assistance; 9.8% in Construction and 10.0% in Retail Trade.

The major differences between the jobs held by local workers of Cairns and Far North Queensland were:

  • A smaller percentage of local workers employed in the field of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (1.4% compared to 5.8%)
  • A larger percentage of local workers employed in the field of Construction (11.5% compared to 9.8%)
  • A smaller percentage of local workers employed in the field of Mining (0.6% compared to 1.8%)
  • A larger percentage of local workers employed in the field of Health Care and Social Assistance (14.9% compared to 13.8%)

Emerging groups

The number of local workers in Cairns increased by increased by 7,586 between 2013/14 and 2018/19.

  • Construction (+3,229 local workers)
  • Health Care and Social Assistance (+1,243 local workers)
  • Manufacturing (+801 local workers)
  • Accommodation and Food Services (+524 local workers)

Cairns Regional Council

economic profile