Why the healthcare industry is Australia's biggest employer
Healthcare is Australia’s biggest employer and it is getting even bigger, accounting for 13.7% of the entire workforce (as of February 2018).

According to the Department of Jobs and Small Business ‘Australian Jobs 2018’ report, the Healthcare & Social Assistance industry is projected to grow a further 16.1% over the next five years.

SEEK new job ad growth is directionally in line with this projection, and new job ads have increased significantly since the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was launched in its trial phase in 2013. A clear upward trajectory can be seen over the past five years as the scheme has been rolled out across all states and territories.   

The following chart shows monthly job ad growth in healthcare, from April 2010 to April 2018.

The top roles contributing to growth in healthcare are Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy & Rehabilitation, as well as Aged Care Nursing.

Kendra Banks, Managing Director SEEK ANZ says the healthcare industry is one of the sectors driving overall growth in Australia.

“The healthcare industry recorded 19% year-on-year growth in April and saw over 2,000 more new job ads than at the same time last year,” she says.

“There are a real variety of roles within both healthcare and community services that are experiencing significant growth thanks to our ageing population, as well as the rise of chronic diseases which require on-going healthcare management and support.”   

Moving out: The rise of regional healthcare

While the majority (68%) of new job ads in healthcare are concentrated in capital cities, overall growth has been fueled by regional opportunities.

Over the past seven years, the share of new job ads in healthcare in areas outside of capital cities has risen from 25% to 32%, demonstrating a significant shift from metro to regional areas.  

The only areas bucking this trend are Tasmania and Northern Territory, where the healthcare sector has become more centralised in the same time period, with more new job ads appearing in Hobart and Darwin than in regional areas.

“Victoria leads the way when it comes to the biggest increase in the share of regional healthcare opportunities over the past six years,” Banks says.

“In 2012, just 12% of healthcare job ads in Victoria were in regional areas, while current figures for 2018 show that this is now 22% – equating to a 78% increase over that period.

“This reflects a longer-term trend which has seen Victoria tilting the dial in its favour against New South Wales when it comes to the greatest share of new job ads in healthcare.”  

The following table represents the growth in regional share of healthcare opportunities from 2012 to 2018:

States 2012 regional share 2018 regional share Growth in regional share
Victoria 12% 22% 78%
South Australia 11% 14% 36%
New South Wales 26% 34% 28%
Western Australia 17% 21% 22%
Queensland 43% 49% 14%
Tasmania 60% 55% -10%
Northern Territory 36% 29% -20%