CoPS/IMPACT Working Paper Number G-277

Title: Victoria University Employment Forecasts: 2017 edition

Author: Janine Dixon


Over the next eight years, employment in Australia will grow to almost 14 million jobs, a net increase of some 1.6 million jobs. In which industries and regions will these jobs be? What occupations will the workers perform? The labour market in Australia is constantly changing. It is unlikely that these questions will have the same answers in 2025 that they have today.

The Victoria University Employment Forecasting (VUEF) project attempts to address these questions, in the context of a macroeconomic model that has the capacity to incorporate detailed structural and demographic change. As a generation of baby-boomers retires and a new generation – many with degree-level qualifications in management and commerce, society and culture, health and other fields – enters the workforce, the service industries will continue to dominate. The modelling finds that just three industry divisions – health care and social assistance, professional services, and education and training – will account for more than half of employment growth over the next eight years. Accordingly, employment in the professional occupations will continue to grow strongly, adding almost 600,000 jobs to employ 3.4 million people, or a quarter of the workforce, by 2025.

A gradual reversal of some of the adverse conditions affecting employment in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors will see a return to positive, albeit modest, growth rates in these sectors.

High urban population growth forecasts and the dominance of growth in the service industries mean that more than 75 per cent of employment growth, or a net increase of 1.2 million jobs, will be in the capital cities. Melbourne and Sydney will account for just over half of the forecast growth in national employment.

Full or partial subscriptions to the 2017 edition of the detailed VUEF database are now available from the Centre of Policy Studies at Victoria University.

JEL classification: J21, J23, J24, J11.

Key words: employment, forecast, occupation, industry, skill, Australia, regions, CGE model.

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