Cairns Regional CouncilEconomic profile
Skip to content

Cairns

Businesses by industry

The Construction industry had the largest number of total registered businesses in Cairns, comprising 18.5% of all total registered businesses, compared to 17.2% in Queensland.

Registered business by industry shows how many businesses there are in Cairns within each industry sector using the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Business Register which itself is derived from the GST register held by the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Businesses are included if they are registered with the ATO, with an ABN used within the previous two financial years. Businesses are split up between employing and non-employing businesses. Non-employing businesses may include sole traders and registered ABNs which are part of larger enterprises.

The distribution of businesses may reflect the industry structure of the area, or may differ significantly. For instance, the largest industry in an area may consist of one very large business, with a large number of employees, while a sector with a lower value added could have a lot of small and micro businesses.

The number of businesses in Cairns should be viewed in conjunction with Employment by industry (Total) and Value added datasets to see the relative size of industries, and with Employment locations data to see where business employment occurs within the area.

Please note that this data set has several limitations which are explained in the data notes for this topic. Business register counts are an approximation to LGA boundaries based on SA2 level data provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. As such, they may not exactly match figures sourced directly from the ATO, due to boundary issues and the application of ABS randomisation to the dataset. Notably, public sector institutions are not recorded which has a significant impact on the numbers for Health Care, Education and Public Administration and Safety.

Australian Bureau of Statistics – Business register – originally sourced from ATO data

Registered businesses by industry
Cairns - Total registered businesses20172015Change
IndustryNumber%Queensland %Number%Queensland %2015 to 2017
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing7385.49.47495.510.0-11
Mining450.30.4460.30.5-1
Manufacturing4903.63.74913.64.0-1
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services370.30.3240.20.3+13
Construction2,52018.517.22,46818.217.1+51
Wholesale Trade3602.63.13272.43.1+33
Retail Trade8306.15.78546.36.1-24
Accommodation and Food Services7735.74.07675.74.0+6
Transport, Postal and Warehousing9647.16.39947.35.9-30
Information Media and Telecommunications1130.80.71291.00.7-17
Financial and Insurance Services1,0637.88.39947.37.9+69
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services1,63512.011.61,75413.011.7-119
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services1,3409.811.01,3019.611.0+39
Administrative and Support Services6334.63.96114.53.8+22
Public Administration and Safety400.30.3360.30.3+4
Education and Training1971.41.41931.41.3+4
Health Care and Social Assistance7895.85.77625.65.5+27
Arts and Recreation Services1601.21.11671.21.1-7
Other Services7495.54.77365.44.6+13
Industry not classified1541.11.21381.01.1+16

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, 2015 to 2017 Cat. No. 8165.0

Note: Non-employing businesses includes sole proprietors where the proprietor does not receive a wage or salary separate to the business income.

Registered businesses by industry 2017
Registered businesses by industry 2017 Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Queensland: 9.4% Mining, Queensland: 0.4% Manufacturing, Queensland: 3.7% Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services, Queensland: 0.3% Construction, Queensland: 17.2% Wholesale Trade, Queensland: 3.1% Retail Trade, Queensland: 5.7% Accommodation and Food Services, Queensland: 4.0% Transport, Postal and Warehousing, Queensland: 6.3% Information Media and Telecommunications, Queensland: 0.7% Financial and Insurance Services, Queensland: 8.3% Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services, Queensland: 11.6% Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Queensland: 11.0% Administrative and Support Services, Queensland: 3.9% Public Administration and Safety, Queensland: 0.3% Education and Training, Queensland: 1.4% Health Care and Social Assistance, Queensland: 5.7% Arts and Recreation Services, Queensland: 1.1% Other Services, Queensland: 4.7% Industry not classified, Queensland: 1.2% Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Cairns: 5.4% Mining, Cairns: 0.3% Manufacturing, Cairns: 3.6% Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services, Cairns: 0.3% Construction, Cairns: 18.5% Wholesale Trade, Cairns: 2.6% Retail Trade, Cairns: 6.1% Accommodation and Food Services, Cairns: 5.7% Transport, Postal and Warehousing, Cairns: 7.1% Information Media and Telecommunications, Cairns: 0.8% Financial and Insurance Services, Cairns: 7.8% Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services, Cairns: 12.0% Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Cairns: 9.8% Administrative and Support Services, Cairns: 4.6% Public Administration and Safety, Cairns: 0.3% Education and Training, Cairns: 1.4% Health Care and Social Assistance, Cairns: 5.8% Arts and Recreation Services, Cairns: 1.2% Other Services, Cairns: 5.5% Industry not classified, Cairns: 1.1%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, 2015 to 2017 Cat. No. 8165.0
Change in registered businesses by industry, 2015 to 2017
Change in registered businesses by industry, 2015 to 2017 Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Cairns: -11 Mining, Cairns: -1 Manufacturing, Cairns: -1 Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services, Cairns: +13 Construction, Cairns: +51 Wholesale Trade, Cairns: +33 Retail Trade, Cairns: -24 Accommodation and Food Services, Cairns: +6 Transport, Postal and Warehousing, Cairns: -30 Information Media and Telecommunications, Cairns: -17 Financial and Insurance Services, Cairns: +69 Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services, Cairns: -119 Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Cairns: +39 Administrative and Support Services, Cairns: +22 Public Administration and Safety, Cairns: +4 Education and Training, Cairns: +4 Health Care and Social Assistance, Cairns: +27 Arts and Recreation Services, Cairns: -7 Other Services, Cairns: +13 Industry not classified, Cairns: +16
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, 2015 to 2017 Cat. No. 8165.0
v18.06.04-1.0.2