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ABS: Construction the biggest riser in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander industry data

23 Oct 2017

The Construction industry has seen the largest growth in jobs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the past five years, according to latest 2016 Census data.

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who recorded in the Census that Construction was their industry of employment grew by 38 per cent from 11,800 in 2011 to 16,200 in 2016.

Meanwhile, the Health Care and Social Assistance industry – Australia’s largest employer – remained the largest employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Census, rising by 22 per cent from 21,500 in 2011 to 26,200 in 2016.

These growth trends were seen right across the spectrum of industries employing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with only two of the leading industries experienced a period of decline since the 2011 Census.

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people counted in the Census as being employed in Manufacturing dropped by 11 per cent from 9,500 in 2011 to 8,500 in 2016, indicative of a trend across the industry.

Census Program Manager Bindi Kindermann said the latest data was a mixture of continued trends and new directions.

“Health Care and Social Assistance - covering areas such as health services, aged and child care - was the largest employing industry of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the 2006, 2011 and 2016 Censuses,” Ms Kindermann said.

“But the star performer in terms of growth was Construction which increased by more than one-third in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees from 2011-2016."

The Census recorded that Health Care and Social Assistance (23 per cent) was the most common employment industry for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females aged 15 to 64 years, followed by Education and Training (14 per cent) and Public Administration and Safety and Retail Trade (both 11 per cent).

Construction was the most common industry for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males (16 per cent), followed by Public Administration and safety (11 per cent) and Manufacturing (7 per cent).

Ms Kindermann encouraged all Australians to make the most of the new data source.

“The new Census data released today will prove to be an incredibly valuable resource for Australia moving forward over the next five years and beyond.

“The information gives further insight into how Australians’ are living, working, studying and where they’re coming from,” Ms Kindermann said.

Census data is available free online. Use one of our easy tools such as QuickStats or Community Profiles to access the latest data for your area or topic of interest.

ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER INDUSTRY OF WORK

Employed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons – by Industry

2016
2011
Growth (%)
Health Care and Social Assistance
26,183
21,502
21.8%
Public Administration and Safety
19,974
18,731
6.6%
Education and Training
17,169
13,179
30.3%
Construction
16,163
11,753
37.5%
Retail Trade
16,130
12,094
33.4%
Accommodation and Food Services
13,470
9,862
36.6%
Manufacturing
8,523
9,523
-10.5%
Transport, Postal and Warehousing
7,691
6,394
20.3%
Administrative and Support Services
6,986
5,283
32.2%
Mining
6,654
5,435
22.4%
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
5,063
3,982
27.1%
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
4,604
3,633
26.7%
Arts and Recreation Services
3,420
2,936
16.5%
Wholesale Trade
2,921
3,311
-11.8%
Financial and Insurance Services
2,502
1,938
29.1%
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services
1,919
1,651
16.2%
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services
1,864
1,406
32.6%
Information Media and Telecommunications
1,687
1,302
29.6%

Find out more

Visit the Australian Bureau of Statistics website to view the original media release.