Labourers

This image shows that there were 1,232,700 Labourers as at November 2018, up 10.1% since November 2013. Employment is projected to grow by 5.5% over the five years to May 2023.
40% of jobs are regional. 24% of workers are aged 15 to 24 years. 15% of workers are self-employed. 10% of workers hold a bachelor degree or higher. 24% of workers hold a certificate 3 or higher qualification. 5% of workers hold an other qualification. 61% of workers do not hold a post-school qualification.

Annual employment growth (%), Labourers

Labourers perform a variety of routine and repetitive physical tasks. Some Labourer jobs require physical fitness (like Building and Plumbing Labourers) but not all involve heavy work (for example, Fast Food Cooks).

There has been relatively strong employment growth in this group in recent years. Over the past five years, 113,300 new Labourer jobs were created. While Internet vacancy numbers for these workers are at historically low levels, Labourer jobs are often advertised informally with many being filled by applicants approaching the employer directly.

Jobs in this group do not generally require post-school qualifications, a large share of Labourers are aged 15 to 24 years and part-time work is common, suggesting there are good opportunities for young people to gain work experience or combine work with study.

Labourers employment is projected to grow by 5.5% over the five years to May 2023.

Top employing occupations, Labourers

Top employing occupations
Occupation Number
Commercial Cleaners 156,500
Kitchenhands 136,100
Building and Plumbing Labourers 71,800
Packers 67,600
Other Miscellaneous Labourers 66,000
Shelf Fillers 64,700
Fast Food Cooks 46,900
Handypersons 40,900
Concreters 40,800
Food and Drink Factory Workers 38,900
Livestock Farm Workers 38,500
Domestic Cleaners 33,500
Garden and Nursery Labourers 31,800
Housekeepers 31,700
Product Assemblers 28,200
Structural Steel Construction Workers 27,700
Crop Farm Workers 22,600
Meat, Poultry and Seafood Process Workers 20,600
Insulation and Home Improvement Installers 17,900
Other Farm, Forestry and Garden Workers 17,500

Employment by occupation subgroup, Labourers

Employment by occupation subgroup, Labourers
Occupation subgroup Employment Employment Profile Workforce Educational Profile Projected Employment
Employ’t Nov 2018  5 year change
to Nov 2018
Part-time Female Aged 15 to 24 years Aged 55 years or older Bachelor degree or higher Cert III or higher VET qual No post-school qual 5 year change to May 2023
‘000 ‘000 % % % % % % % % %
Cleaners and Laundry Workers 277.7 9.6 3.6 65 63 12 27 13 23 59 4.0
Construction and Mining Labourers 187.7 35.0 22.9 14 2 18 12 7 35 54 9.5
Factory Process Workers 222.4 34.5 18.3 24 34 19 17 9 20 67 1.4
Farm, Forestry and Garden Workers 122.5 19.3 18.7 36 25 22 25 8 30 56 0.7
Food Preparation Assistants 188.7 21.1 12.6 81 47 57 12 11 13 68 11.1
Other Labourers 226.3 -2.1 -0.9 52 23 25 22 9 27 60 5.1
All Labourers1 1,232.7 113.3 10.1 47 35 15 19 10 24 61 5.5

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

Sources: ABS, Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations; ABS, Labour Force (trend and annual averages of original data); ABS, Education and Work; Department of Jobs and Small Business, Internet Vacancy Index

For more information see joboutlook.gov.au