Economists perform economic research and analysis, develop and apply theories about production and distribution of goods and services and people's spending and financial behaviour, and provide advice to governments and organisations on economic policy issues.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is usually needed to work in this job. The majority of workers have a university degree.

Tasks

  • analysing interrelationships between economic variables and studying the effects of government fiscal and monetary policies, expenditure, taxation and other budgetary policies on the economy and the community
  • researching, analysing and assessing the effects of labour market programs and industry policies and programs on economic growth, welfare, education and training
  • investigating international and national economic situations, and particular features such as industries, regions and socioeconomic groups
  • studying workplace issues such as enterprise bargaining and wage fixation, and the effect of workplace policies on productivity and economic growth
  • analysing trends and advising on economic issues such as taxation levels, prices, employment and unemployment, imports and exports, and interest and exchange rates
  • forecasting changes in the economic environment for short-term budgeting, long-term planning and investment evaluation
  • formulating recommendations, policies and plans for the economy, corporate strategies and investment, and undertaking feasibility studies for projects
  • preparing reports on research findings

Job Titles

  • Economist, or Economic Analyst
  • Economist, or Economic Analyst

    Specialisations: Agricultural Economist, Econometrician, Economic Forecaster, Environmental Economist, Health Economist, Labour Market Economist, Mineral Economist, Taxation Economist

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $2,000 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    stable
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    5100
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    67.9%
  • Female Share

    32.1%
  • Full-Time Share

    89.3%

Find Vacancies

This is a very small occupation employing 5100 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
Little change in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory have a large share of Economists.
  • They mainly work in: Financial and Insurance Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.
  • Full-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 38.9 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $2,000 per week (very high compared to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 37 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 7 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
20054000
20063300
20073000
20082900
20094300
20105600
20114600
20122500
20134900
20144800
20155100
20205100

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsEconomistsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings20001230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryEconomistsAll Jobs Average
Full-time89.368.4
Part-time10.631.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)38.940

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Financial and Insurance Services29.6
Public Administration and Safety28
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services25.5
Manufacturing7.3
Other Industries9.6

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateEconomistsAll Jobs Average
NSW51.131.8
VIC13.225.5
QLD8.219.8
SA06.8
WA9.111.2
TAS0.72
NT1.31.1
ACT16.41.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketEconomistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190-5.45.4
20-244.1-9.99.9
25-3437.6-23.423.4
35-4433.9-21.721.7
45-5418.4-21.121.1
55-591.5-8.78.7
60-641.2-5.95.9
65 and Over3.3-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryEconomistsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males67.9Males53.6
Females32.1Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is usually needed to work in this job. The majority of workers have a university degree.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

  • myfuture (login required) and the Good Education Group provide information about courses at all levels.
  • My Skills is the national directory of Vocational Education and Training (VET) and provides information about nationally recognised training and training providers that deliver it.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Economists who have strong attention to detail, can communicate clearly with a wide variety of people and can work well in a team.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Economics and Accounting

    94% Important

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.

  2. Mathematics

    92% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  3. English Language

    77% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Computers and Electronics

    62% Important

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  5. Education and Training

    62% Important

    Teaching and course design.

Occupational Information Network Economists Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Analyzing Data or Information

    95% Important

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  2. Getting Information

    92% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  3. Interacting With Computers

    91% Important

    Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  4. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    88% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  5. Processing Information

    88% Important

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

Occupational Information Network Economists Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

go to top