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ABS: Professionals on the rise among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons

23 Oct 2017

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons employed in professional occupations such as health and education has increased by over 75 per cent in ten years, reveals latest data from the 2016 Census.

The Census also recorded that Community and Personal Service Workers, including aged care, child care, emergency services and personal services, has overtaken Labourers to become the largest occupational grouping for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons.

Census Program Manager Bindi Kindermann said the ten-year patterns showed interesting changes in occupations.

“Every one of the top five occupation categories for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons grew in workers by at least 52 per cent from 2006 to 2016 except for Labourers which fell by 4.5 per cent over the same period,” Ms Kindermann said.

The Census saw almost a 66 per cent increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons employed as Community and Personal Service Workers between 2006 and 2016, representing 17 per cent of the total of employed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons aged 15 and over.

During the same period, the Census recorded a 76 per cent increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons working in professional occupations.

The most common occupation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in the 2016 Census was Community and Personal Service Workers, almost 25 per cent of the total. For men, it was Technician and Trades Workers, approximately 22 per cent.

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.

OCCUPATION

Employed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons – by Occupation

2016
2011
Growth (%)
Community and Personal Service Workers
30,991
24,486
26.6%
Labourers
27,814
25,936
7.2%
Technicians and Trades Workers
24,399
19,007
28.4%
Professionals
24,339
19,358
25.7%
Clerical and Administrative Workers
23,174
19,216
20.6%
Machinery Operators and Drivers
16,774
13,689
22.5%
Sales Workers
15,791
10,961
44.1%
Managers
12,844
9,406
36.6%

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons – Top 10 Occupations (2 digit level)

Occupation (2 digit level)
Employed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons
Carers and Aides
14,365
Sales Assistants and Salespersons
11,490
Cleaners and Laundry Workers
6,644
Road and Rail Drivers
6,483
Health and Welfare Support Workers
6,326
Education Professionals
6,325
Construction Trades Workers
6,032
Specialist Managers
5,929
Automotive and Engineering Trades Workers
5,804
General Clerical Workers
5,421

Find out more

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