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Job Outlook

An Australian Government Initiative

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Job Outlook provides, for each occupation, data on employment characteristics, trends and prospects, links to vacancies on Australian JobSearch and education and training courses on myfuture, and information on knowledge, skills and abilities from the United States O*Net website. Selected occupation-specific links and reports are presented in ‘Reports & Links‘.

Occupation and Industry Classification

The occupations in Job Outlook are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), developed jointly by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Statistics New Zealand (SNZ). The 353 occupations in Job Outlook (titles unit groups in ANZSCO) are grouped into 48 clusters of occupations, to provide statistical comparisons for related occupations, and eight major groups:

  • Managers
  • Professionals
  • Technicians and Trades Workers
  • Community and Personal Service Workers
  • Clerical and Administrative Workers
  • Sales Workers
  • Machinery Operators and Drivers
  • Labourers

Industries in Job Outlook are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 2006, developed by the ABS and SNZ.

Searching for Occupations

Alphabetical

Select from an alphabetical listing of occupations.

Keyword

Type into the keyword search field a word relating to the occupation you are interested in (for example, ‘mechanic’) and then select an occupation from the results of the search (such as ‘Motor Mechanic’).

Category

Select from the list of occupational clusters, then choose one of the occupations in that cluster.

Industry

Select an industry and you will be presented with a list of the main employing occupations in that industry. Further information on industry employment trends and prospects is available on the Labour Market Information Portal website.

Skill Shortages

Skill shortage research is undertaken by the Department of Employment using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) to define occupations. The research focuses on professions, associate professions and trades, although a number of occupations in the management group are also included in the program. Results of this research are published on the Department of Employment website.

Career Quiz

This quiz will help you identify what types of work you most like doing. Each of the 15 questions lists six tasks that people do. Select the work you'd enjoy doing most, making sure to choose the task you prefer doing more than all the others in the group - no matter how qualified you are to do that job. Then select See result to view the occupations you are most likely to enjoy or be good at.

Data Sources

Most of the statistics in Job Outlook are based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly labour force survey and supplementary surveys, and are subject to sampling variability. Relative standard errors (sampling errors relative to the size of the estimates) are very high for small occupations. Occupational and industry data are only available for the mid month of each quarter (February, May, August and November).The time series data have been seasonally adjusted and trended within the Department of Employment.

The data presented in Job Outlook are averages for all Australia, and may not represent the characteristics of occupations in particular regions. Projected employment growth for occupations will vary between regions, depending on regional economic growth and the regional industry base. Job prospects will vary between regions and individual workers, depending on the specialised skills and personal attributes being sought by employers.

Some numbers in Job Outlook have been rounded to whole numbers and apparent differences in figures may reflect this rounding. This may result in figures not appearing on graphs (rounded down to zero), yet the graph indicating a small positive figure.

Overview

Job descriptions, skill levels, tasks and job titles are based on the information contained in the ANZSCO publication, edited slightly in some instances. A list of associated occupations is also provided. The job titles include specific occupations, specialisations and alternative titles for the occupation.

Employment Projections, General Characteristics and Trends

Each year, the Department of Employment prepares projections of employment growth for occupations for the following five years. The projections are derived from best practice time series models that summarise the information that is in a time series and convert it into a forecast. The projections are made by combining forecasts from autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) and exponential smoothing with damped trend (ESWDT) models, with some adjustments made to take account of the Department of Employment research and known future industry developments. Those forecasts have been scaled to be consistent with a projected rise in total employment. Although care has been taken to produce these assessments, they must be used with caution. Individuals need to carefully assess their individual circumstances when considering the information. As noted, the projection information is indicative and individual and regional job prospects may change rapidly and unexpectedly.

Further information about the Department of Employment projections can be found at the Department‘s Labour Market Information Portal website.

Job Prospects

Job Outlook provides a range of information which can give an indication of an occupation’s future job prospects. However, it is important to be aware of the inherent limitations in using labour market information for this purpose:

  • The data on Job Outlook are primarily drawn from household surveys, and such data have a margin of error (known as sampling error). This margin of error is especially wide for small occupations, and this should be taken into account in interpreting the data.
  • The data are a reflection of the past, and may not be an accurate representation of the future. Labour market conditions, and prospects for particular occupations, can change rapidly and in unforeseeable ways.
  • The data are generalisations by definition, and relating them to individual circumstances can be difficult. For example, most of the data on Job Outlook are at the national level, which may not reflect conditions in a particular region.

Labour market information should never be the sole or primary factor influencing a career choice. The chance of gaining a job in a particular occupation is a combination of a job seeker’s own skills, abilities, determination and motivation, as well as the characteristics of the occupation. Good candidates will always be highly sought after by employers, regardless of labour market conditions, and candidates who do not have the required skills and interest in their occupation are unlikely to gain employment even when demand for their occupation is strong. Accordingly, strong employment growth in an occupation does not guarantee that every job seeker will find employment, especially for new entrants to the occupation.

Despite these limitations, the data provided on Job Outlook can be helpful in understanding future job opportunities. The Key Indicators chart on the ‘Prospects’ tab provides a summary of some of main factors which affect the number of job opportunities available in an occupation, including:

How many people are employed in a particular occupation?

In simple terms, the larger an occupation, the more likely there are to be jobs in every location. Also, large occupations generate a large number of opportunities through turnover (people changing jobs within the occupation, people leaving the occupation or leaving the workforce altogether). For example, if an occupation employs 100,000 people, and has an annual turnover of 5 per cent, then 5000 job opportunities are created from turnover each year, whereas if an occupation employs only 10,000 people, a turnover rate of 5 per cent generates only 500 job opportunities.

Turnover is an important consideration, since it generates many more opportunities than net jobs growth. The ‘Future job openings’ rating on the Key Indicators chart provides an indication of the number of job opportunities that are expected to be generated in the occupation in the following five years, from both job turnover and net jobs growth.

Is the occupation subject to high turnover rates (even if it is not necessarily a large occupation)?

Some occupations have a high rate of job turnover than others, and this can generate a large number of opportunities even if the occupation is relatively small. Higher skilled jobs generally provide fewer opportunities through job turnover than lower skilled jobs, as they tend to be more specialised and the investment made in education and training to enter the occupation tends to discourage people from changing occupations.

Has the occupation been growing or shrinking?

For many occupations, the past can be a useful guide to future demand. To more accurately gauge the demand for jobs in a particular occupation, it is important to look over longer time frames (e.g. growth over five years) rather than short term fluctuations. That said, the size of the occupation is again important. Sometimes employment growth can be high in percentage terms, but in cases of small occupations the actual number of new jobs could still be quite small.

Do employment projections provide an indication of expected future growth in the occupation?

Each year, the Department of Employment projects employment for each occupation for the following five years. Like all such exercises, they are subject to an inherent degree of uncertainty, but they provide an indication of the number of additional jobs there will be in the future in that occupation.
 

General Statistics

The Statistics tab provides a range of data for the selected occupation on employment characteristics and trends including, for example, recent employment growth, earnings, gender share and educational profiles.

Vacancies and Training Courses

The Vacancies and Training tabs provide links to vacancies on Australian JobSearch and education and training courses on the myfuture website.

Skills

The Skills tab provides data, sourced from the United States Occupational Information Network (O*Net), on skills, knowledge, abilities, interests, job environment, work values, activities and tasks for the best fit O*Net occupation.

Key Indicators

The graph shows key indicators for this occupation, including - employment level, full-time share of employment, earnings, unemployment, historical employment growth (long-term, medium term and short-term), and future employment growth for the following five years.

The graph presents the decile ranking for the occupation for each indicator - around 10 per cent (35) of the 350 occupations are in each decile. This makes it easier to compare occupational characteristics and trends across occupations. For example, if an occupation has a decile ranking of 10 for future employment growth, then it is in the top 10 per cent of occupations for future employment growth (that is, in the group of occupations with the strongest future employment growth prospects).

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