Northern Territory

This image shows that there were 134,900 people employed in the Northern Territory as at November 2017, down 2.1% since November 2016 and up 4.8% since November 2012.  Employment is projected to grow by 5.4% over the five years to May 2022.
37% of jobs are regional (up 2 percentage point over 5 years).
47% of workers are female (no change over 5 years).
67% of workers hold post-school qualifications (up 6 percentage points over 5 years).
21% of jobs are part-time (up 3 percentage points over 5 years).
The median age is 39 years (no change over 5 years).

Educational attainment, Northern Territory (%)

Shows the educational attainment profile of the Northern Territory workforce.  Bachelor degree or higher 26%. Certificate III or higher VET qualification 34%. Other qualification 7%. No post-school qualification 33%.

Age profile, Northern Territory (%)

Shows the age profile of the Northern Territory workforce. 14% aged 15 to 24 years. 27% aged 25 to 34 years. 22% aged 35 to 44 years. 20% aged 45 to 54 years. 17% aged 55 years or older.

The Northern Territory (NT) is the smallest labour market in Australia. Almost two thirds of jobs are in Darwin. Health Care and Social Assistance is the largest employing industry (19,600 workers), closely followed by Public Administration and Safety (19,400). Employment growth over the past five years was below the national average.

Current conditions (to January 2018)

Labour market conditions weakened in the NT over the year to January 2018, with employment decreasing by 4,300. The fall in employment was due to a decline in full-time employment, down by 4,500, while part-time employment rose marginally. Reflecting the weaker conditions, the unemployment rate rose by 1.1 percentage points over the year to 4.6% (although it remains below the national rate of 5.5%), while the participation rate fell by 1.8 percentage points to 76.2% (but remains the highest rate in Australia).

Conditions for youth in the NT also softened over the year, with youth employment declining by 800 (or 3.9%). The youth unemployment rate rose by 1.0 percentage point to 8.6%, although it remains well below the national rate (12.3%).


The NT Treasury forecasts a 0.4% fall in employment in 2018-19, while the unemployment rate is expected to average 4.5% over the period. Over the five years to May 2022, employment in the NT is projected to grow by 5.4%.

Employment by region, Northern Territory

Employment by region, Northern Territory
  Employment Employment Profile Projected Employment
  Employ’t Nov 2017 5 year change
to Nov 2017
Aged 15 to 24 years No post-school qual 5 year change to May 2022
Region ‘000 ‘000 % % % %
Darwin 84.5 10.4 14.0 14 32 6.6
NT - Outback 53.0 1.5 2.9 13 36 4.4
Northern Territory1 134.9 6.2 4.8 14 33 5.4
Australia 12,380.1 970.7 8.5 14 33 7.8

1. Some data are trend and, for these, totals do not add

Sources: ABS, Labour Force (trend and annual averages of original data); ABS, Census of Population and Housing; Department of Jobs and Small Business, Regional Employment Projections; Department of Treasury and Finance, Northern Territory

For more information see