Businesses by industry

The Construction industry had the largest number of total registered businesses in Cairns, comprising 18.1% of all total registered businesses, compared to 17.2% in Queensland.

Registered business by industry shows how many businesses there are 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.

Data source

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

Number of employees:
Comparison year:
Registered businesses by industry
Cairns - total registered businesses20212020change
IndustryNumber%. % QueenslandNumber%. % Queensland2020 to 2021
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing6985.18.96995.28.9-1
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services420.30.3360.30.3+6
Wholesale Trade3232.33.03122.33.0+11
Retail Trade8236.06.07905.86.0+33
Accommodation and Food Services7925.74.07755.74.0+17
Transport, Postal and Warehousing1,2589.17.51,2509.37.5+8
Information Media and Telecommunications1050.80.81050.80.80
Financial and Insurance Services4653.44.04473.34.0+18
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services1,69812.311.81,69312.511.8+5
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services1,51110.912.31,45910.812.3+52
Administrative and Support Services7465.44.57285.44.5+18
Public Administration and Safety400.30.3470.30.3-7
Education and Training2171.61.52081.51.5+9
Health Care and Social Assistance1,0207.46.99757.26.9+45
Arts and Recreation Services1721.21.31561.21.3+16
Other Services8135.95.37665.75.3+47
Industry not classified280.20.1280.20.10
Total business13,801100.0100.013,513100.0100.0+288

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, 2016 to 2021 Note: Non-employing businesses includes sole proprietors where the proprietor does not receive a wage or salary separate to the business income. .id (informed decisions)

Please refer to specific data notes for more information

Cairns Regional Council

economic profile