Cairns Regional Council

economic profile

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Businesses by industry

The Construction industry had the largest number of total registered businesses in Cairns, comprising 17.8% of all total registered businesses, compared to 16.6% 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 businesses20202019change
IndustryNumber%. % QueenslandNumber%. % Queensland2019 to 2020
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing6884.98.87025.08.8-14
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services350.20.3390.30.3-4
Wholesale Trade3142.22.93302.32.9-16
Retail Trade7985.75.58195.85.5-21
Accommodation and Food Services7745.53.88005.73.8-26
Transport, Postal and Warehousing1,2508.97.61,2298.77.6+21
Information Media and Telecommunications990.70.71020.70.7-3
Financial and Insurance Services1,0437.48.31,0607.58.3-17
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services1,68612.011.41,67311.811.4+13
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services1,46010.411.61,45610.311.6+4
Administrative and Support Services7175.14.26974.94.2+20
Public Administration and Safety580.40.3610.40.3-3
Education and Training2041.41.52231.61.5-19
Health Care and Social Assistance9756.96.39086.46.3+67
Arts and Recreation Services1571.11.21611.11.2-4
Other Services7635.44.97815.54.9-18
Industry not classified330.20.1330.20.10
Total business14,074100.0100.014,145100.0100.0-71

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, 2016 to 2020 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