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

  • $2,000 Weekly Pay
  • 5,400 workers Employment Size
  • Very strong Future Growth
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 94.0% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 41 hours Average full-time
  • 37 years Average age
  • 21.0% female Gender Share

The number of Economists grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow very strongly over the next 5 years:
from 5,400 in 2017 to 6,200 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 5,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created (a large number for an occupation of this size).

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
  • Location: Economists work in many regions of Australia. Many work in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
  • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Financial and Insurance Services.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (94%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%) showing part-time work may be hard to find.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 41.0 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 37 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 21% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
20073300
20082800
20094200
20104700
20114900
20123200
20134900
20143100
20155800
20165700
20175400
20226200

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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)
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services46.5
Public Administration and Safety22.8
Financial and Insurance Services15.3
Education and Training8.1
Other Industries7.3

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 2017, 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
NSW52.231.6
VIC23.226.2
QLD5.519.7
SA0.06.7
WA9.410.8
TAS0.62.0
NT0.51.1
ACT8.61.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-190.0-5.25.2
20-2412.6-9.99.9
25-3430.5-23.623.6
35-4428.4-21.721.7
45-5418.8-20.820.8
55-599.0-8.88.8
60-640.7-6.06.0
65 and Over0.0-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-3011.00 - Economists.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-3011.00 - Economists.

go to top