Economists

ANZSCO ID 2243

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
7,500
Future Growth
0%
Weekly Earnings
$1,815
Full-Time Share
84%
Female Share
33%
Average age
37

Summary

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.

Also known as: Economic Analyst.

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

A bachelor degree in economics is needed to work as an Economist. Many workers have a postgraduate qualification.

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

Characteristics

Job Type
Professionals
Skill Level
Very high skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
Interests
  • Analytical
  • Administrative
  • Enterprising
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary

Outlook

Employment Outlook

JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers in this occupation is likely to remain stable.

Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.

Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
0%
(or 0 jobs)
From
6,800
in 2021
To
6,700
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 4,700
2012 1,400
2013 5,300
2014 5,500
2015 5,400
2016 6,900
2017 4,800
2018 5,300
2019 5,000
2020 4,300
2021 6,800
2026 6,700

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 84% of people employed as Economists work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 18 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their main job. This is the same as the all jobs average.

    More than half of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).

    Median full-time earnings are $1,815 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,390
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $2,450

    Median hourly earnings are $49, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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.
Earnings Economists All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,815 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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.


Industries

Main industries

1
Public Administration and Safety
35.3%
2
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
32.4%
3
Financial and Insurance Services
13.2%
4
Education and Training
13.2%
5
Other industries
5.9%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

34.1% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

26.0% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

12.6% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

3.5% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

6.7% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

1.0% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

0.8% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

15.4% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Economists All Jobs Average
NSW 34.1 31.6
VIC 26.0 25.6
QLD 12.6 20.0
SA 3.5 7.0
WA 6.7 10.8
TAS 1.0 2.0
NT 0.8 1.0
ACT 15.4 1.9



Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
37
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
33%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Economists is 37 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.

    Females make up 33% of the workforce. This is 15 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Economists All Jobs Average
15-19 0.1 5.0
20-24 6.0 9.3
25-34 35.3 22.9
35-44 27.1 22.0
45-54 17.3 21.6
55-59 6.5 9.0
60-64 4.1 6.0
65 and Over 3.7 4.2
Median Age 37 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

A bachelor degree in economics is needed to work as an Economist. Many workers have a postgraduate qualification.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Economists All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 50.2 10.1
Bachelor degree 44.7 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 1.3 11.6
Certificate III/IV 0.6 21.1
Year 12 3.1 18.1
Year 11 0.0 4.8
Year 10 and below 0.1 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

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.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 64%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 64%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 64%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 63%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 63%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 61%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 61%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.

  • 59%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 59%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 59%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 54%

    Systems evaluation

    Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

  • 52%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 50%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 50%

    Persuasion

    Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.

  • 48%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 46%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 43%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 41%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 39%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 34%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 89%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 83%

    Economics and accounting

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

  • 64%

    English language

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

  • 63%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 59%

    Computers and electronics

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

  • 55%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 52%

    Geography

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  • 48%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 45%

    Sociology and anthropology

    Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

  • 44%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 42%

    History and archeology

    Events of the past, their causes, how we learn about them, and how they influence the way we live today.

  • 40%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 38%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 33%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 33%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  • 33%

    Philosophy and theology

    Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.

  • 30%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 25%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 21%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  • 14%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 73%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 71%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 68%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 66%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 63%

    Working with numbers

    Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.

  • 61%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 59%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 59%

    Mathematics

    Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.

  • 55%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 55%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 52%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 52%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 52%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 50%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 46%

    Originality

    Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.

  • 43%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 39%

    Memorization

    Remember things like words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.

  • 39%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 37%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 37%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.


Activities

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

  • 94%

    Making sense of information and ideas

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

  • 86%

    Collecting and organising information

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

  • 86%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 84%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 83%

    Making decisions and solving problems

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

  • 82%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 80%

    Giving expert advice

    Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.

  • 77%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 76%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 74%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 74%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 71%

    Communicating with the public

    Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 71%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 70%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  • 59%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 59%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 57%

    Coming up with systems and processes

    Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.

  • 57%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 56%

    Guiding and directing staff

    Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.

  • 43%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.


Interests and demands

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.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 67%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 57%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 38%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 33%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 24%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 81%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 76%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 71%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 71%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.

  • 48%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 33%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 100%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 92%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 91%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 90%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 86%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 86%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 82%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 82%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 79%

    Competition

    Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.

  • 76%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 72%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 72%

    Letters and memos

    Write letters and memos.

  • 70%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 68%

    Public speaking

    Talk to a group of people.

  • 67%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 63%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 57%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 52%

    Contact with the public

    Work with customers or the public.

  • 52%

    Responsible for outcomes

    Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.

  • 48%

    Consequence of error

    Work where mistakes have serious consequences.

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


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