Miners, teachers and public servants powering jobs market

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There has also been 20 per cent lift in mining jobs in Queensland over the past 12 months.

Despite the sector’s total workforce reaching 256,000 at the end of November it is still short of the previous record set a decade ago at 270,000.

While mining is recovering it is still a long way short of the nation’s biggest employer which remains the healthcare and social assistance sector which added 27,200 staff over the past year to reach almost 1.7 million.

About one in seven jobs is now in healthcare and social assistance with the National Disability Insurance Service a key part to the overall lift in the sector over the past two years.

Public administration is also benefiting from a boost in taxpayer support with total employment up 11.3 per cent or 94,500 since late last year to reach an all-time high of 832,700.

The biggest increase in public servants has been in Victoria, up by 19.4 per cent over the past year.

Another publicly-funded sector, education, hit a record level in the November quarter with almost 1.1 million Australians now employed in the teaching area.

Professional services reached an all-time high of 1.1 million in the quarter, led by a 16.3 per cent jump of the number of people employed in NSW in the sector.

Accommodation and food services now employ around the same number of people as the manufacturing sector. Over the past five years the number of manufacturing workers has fallen by 31,000 while those in the accommodation and food sector has jumped by 20 per cent to number more than 900,000.

While most industries reported increases there were signs of a slowdown in the key area of construction.

Total construction jobs edged down by 0.6 per cent or 7300 over the past year to 1.2 million. It was the third consecutive quarter that construction jobs fell with 40,000 now shed since the start of the year.

Construction jobs are starting to slow.

Construction jobs are starting to slow.Credit:Erin Jonasson

The fall is being led by Queensland and Western Australia as jobs are still being added to construction in NSW and Victoria.

The figures follow Thursday’s jobs report which showed the national unemployment rate at 5.1 per cent on the back of growing part-time jobs.

CommSec chief equities economist Craig James said the national jobs market was in good shape.

“The good news is that jobs are being created across industry sectors. Over the past quarter as well as over the year, 14 or 19 industry sectors created jobs,” he said.

Shane is senior economics correspondent for The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, based in Canberra.

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