Canberra Region

Employment by industry (Census)

Health Care and Social Assistance is the largest employer in the Canberra Region, making up 13.5% of total employment.

Census employment data presents the number of persons employed in each industry sector (full-time and part-time) in the Canberra Region regardless of where they live. By comparing the number of jobs in each industry sector to a regional benchmark, you can clearly see local economic strengths and weaknesses. By looking at how the number of jobs in each industry is changing over time, you can track how the structure of the local economy is changing. Go to the Employment locations page to see where employment is taking place across the Canberra Region.

Note: Census employment figures are known to undercount employment by varying amounts depending on the Census year. All Census counts are an undercount of total population, and in addition, some people don’t state their workforce status or industry. Also counts by place of work exclude those with no fixed workplace address. For this reason, it is recommended that for total job numbers, users look at the Employment by industry (Total) modelled estimates which are updated on an annual basis, and based on the ABS Labour Force survey, less prone to undercount. The Census counts by industry are included here for a greater level of industry detail (3-digit ANZSIC).

Data source

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) – Census 2016 & 2021 – by place of work

Current area:
Current benchmark:
Did you know? By clicking/tapping on a data row in the table you will be able to see sub categories.
Employment (Census) by industry sector
Canberra Region20212016Change
IndustryNumber%. NSWNumber%. NSW2016 - 2021
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing8,1097.32.07,7768.02.2+333
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services1,6731.51.01,4011.40.9+272
Wholesale Trade2,2762.02.91,7651.83.1+511
Retail Trade11,17110.09.010,67611.09.7+495
Accommodation and Food Services11,0489.96.210,10410.47.1+944
Transport, Postal and Warehousing3,8613.54.63,5343.64.7+327
Information Media and Telecommunications7910.71.97520.82.2+39
Financial and Insurance Services1,1891.15.31,2601.35.0-71
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services1,6161.41.71,5401.61.8+76
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services5,0104.58.94,1864.38.1+824
Administrative and Support Services3,0242.73.22,7502.83.5+274
Public Administration and Safety7,7106.95.86,8417.15.9+869
Education and Training9,3418.48.77,7438.08.3+1,598
Health Care and Social Assistance15,08013.514.412,29512.712.5+2,785
Arts and Recreation Services2,1271.91.42,0072.11.5+120
Other Services4,2943.93.43,7563.93.7+538
Industry not classified4,4644.04.64,0154.14.7+449
Total persons111,471100.0100.097,002100.0100.0+14,469

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

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 the Canberra Region in 2021 shows the three most popular industry sectors were:

  • Health Care and Social Assistance (15,080 people or 13.5%)
  • Retail Trade (11,171 people or 10.0%)
  • Construction (11,074 people or 9.9%)

In combination these three fields accounted for 37,325 people in total or 33.5% of the local workers.

In comparison, NSW employed 14.4% in Health Care and Social Assistance; 9.0% in Retail Trade and 8.6% in Construction.

The major differences between the jobs held by local workers of the Canberra Region and NSW were:

  • A larger percentage of local workers employed in the field of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (7.3% compared to 2.0%)
  • A smaller percentage of local workers employed in the field of Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (4.5% compared to 8.9%)
  • A smaller percentage of local workers employed in the field of Financial and Insurance Services (1.1% compared to 5.3%)
  • A larger percentage of local workers employed in the field of Accommodation and Food Services (9.9% compared to 6.2%)

Emerging groups

The largest changes in the jobs held by local workers between 2016 and 2021 in the Canberra Region were for those employed in:

  • Construction (+3,269 local workers)
  • Health Care and Social Assistance (+2,785 local workers)
  • Education and Training (+1,598 local workers)
  • Accommodation and Food Services (+944 local workers)

Canberra Region Joint Organisation area

economic profile