Resident workers - Industry

Total industries employs more of Cairns's resident workforce than any other industry sector.

Industry sector data identifies the industries in which the residents of an area work either within the residing area or elsewhere. Comparing the industry sectors in which Cairns residents are employed in the industry sectors that are located in Cairns, indicates whether an economy draws on the skills offered by its own residents, or on a different set of skills imported from elsewhere in the region.

Industry sector statistics in Cairns are influenced by a range of factors including:

  • The economic base and employment opportunities available within commuting distance;
  • The educational levels of the local population; and
  • The working and social aspirations of the local population.

Industry sector data should be viewed in conjunction with Residents place of work.

Data source

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) – Census 2016 and 2021 – by usual residence

Current benchmark:
Did you know? By clicking/tapping on a data row in the table you will be able to see sub categories.
Resident workers industry of employment
Cairns - Persons 20212016Change
Industry (Click rows to view sub-categories)Number%. QueenslandNumber%. Queensland2016 - 2021
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing1,2621.62.61,1761.62.8+86
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services8631.11.26660.91.1+197
Wholesale Trade1,6602.12.41,7062.42.6-46
Retail Trade7,7069.79.37,68510.69.9+21
Accommodation and Food Services7,9089.97.27,26810.07.3+640
Transport, Postal and Warehousing4,4875.64.74,5906.35.1-103
Information Media and Telecommunications4540.61.05850.81.2-131
Financial and Insurance Services1,0381.32.61,0871.52.5-49
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services1,3511.71.81,4582.02.0-107
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services3,7454.76.73,3874.76.3+358
Administrative and Support Services2,8883.63.43,0984.33.5-210
Public Administration and Safety5,8527.36.25,7948.06.6+58
Education and Training7,0568.98.86,5009.09.0+556
Health Care and Social Assistance14,38918.115.410,44614.413.0+3,943
Arts and Recreation Services1,2491.61.51,4362.01.6-187
Other Services3,6224.53.93,0474.23.9+575
Industry not classified2,9813.74.52,8283.94.3+153
Total Persons79,659100.0100.072,399100.0100.0+7,260

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2016 and 2021. Compiled and presented by .id (informed decisions)

Did you know? By clicking/tapping on a category in the chart below you will be able to drilldown to the sub categories. You can zoom in by click and drag a selection on the chart. Youcan then scroll through the zoomed selection using the shift key while dragging.
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Dominant groups

Analysis of the jobs held by the resident workforce in Cairns in 2021shows the three most popular industry sectors were:

  • Health Care and Social Assistance (14,389 people or 18.1%)
  • Accommodation and Food Services (7,908 people or 9.9%)
  • Retail Trade (7,706 people or 9.7%)

In combination these three industries employed 30,003 people in total or 37.7% of the total resident workforce.

In comparison, Queensland employed 15.4% in Health Care and Social Assistance; 7.2% in Accommodation and Food Services and 9.3% in Retail Trade.

The major differences between the jobs held by the resident workforce of Cairns and Queensland were:

  • A larger percentage of resident workforce employed in Accommodation and Food Services (9.9% compared to 7.2%)
  • A larger percentage of resident workforce employed in Health Care and Social Assistance (18.1% compared to 15.4%)
  • A smaller percentage of resident workforce employed in Manufacturing (3.6% compared to 5.7%)
  • A smaller percentage of resident workforce employed in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (4.7% compared to 6.7%)

Emerging groups

The largest changes in the jobs held by the resident workforce between 2016 and 2021 in Cairns were for those employed in:

  • Health Care and Social Assistance (+3,943 resident workforce)
  • Construction (+1,004 resident workforce)
  • Accommodation and Food Services (+640 resident workforce)
  • Other Services (+575 resident workforce)

Cairns Regional Council

economic profile