Employment Projections

The National Skills Commission produces employment projections to provide a much-needed guide to the likely future direction of the jobs market over the next 5 years.

Each year these projections are updated to reflect emerging trends and developments.

The latest data available are for the five years to November 2026.


Summary

Over the five years to November 2026:

  • Employment is projected to increase across all 19 broad industries
  • Employment is projected to increase across all 8 broad occupational groups
  • 9 in 10 new jobs are projected to require post-school education

Industry

Industries projected to grow

Four services industries are projected to provide more than three-fifths of the total projected employment growth:

This follows the long-term structural shift in employment towards services industries.

Employment levels, past, and projected - four largest growing industries

Projected employment growth by industry

This chart shows projected employment growth across all industries

You can find out more about the industry employment projections:

  • in the Industry Employment Outlook to November 2026 report (see reports section of this page)
  • by downloading the industry projections data file (see data downloads section of this page)

Occupation and skill level

Jobs and skill levels on the increase

There are increases in employment projected across all eight broad occupational groups and all five skill levels over the five years to November 2026.

It is likely that 91.7% of new jobs will require post-school education, and more than three-fifths of the total projected employment growth will occur in high skill level jobs.

Projected employment growth by major occupational group and skill level

At the more detailed occupation level, employment is projected to grow in 291 out of 358 occupations over the five years to November 2026.

The occupations with the largest projected employment growth are:

Occupation

Employment, Nov-21 ('000)

Projected employment, Nov-26 ('000)

Projected employment growth ('000)

Projected employment growth (%)

Aged and Disabled Carers

266.9

341.8

74.9

28.0

Software and Applications Programmers

156.2

198.4

42.2

27.0

Registered Nurses

290.8

331.2

40.4

13.9

General Clerks

275.7

311.4

35.7

12.9

Database and Systems Administrators, and ICT Security Specialists

74.8

104.0

29.1

38.9

Management and Organisation Analysts

87.4

115.6

28.2

32.2

Solicitors

97.2

117.7

20.4

21.0

Human Resource Managers

117.8

137.1

19.3

16.3

Welfare Support Workers

75.6

94.7

19.1

25.2

Accountants

194.9

212.8

17.9

9.2

You can explore occupations' projected employment growth in the Occupation search page. 


Reports

The Employment Outlook to November 2026 report provides an overview of likely future employment trends across industries, occupations, states and territories, and regions.

PDF document
Employment Outlook to November 2026

(641 Kb)


Data downloads

Excel document
2021 NSC Employment Projections

(86 Kb)

Note: the Occupation Projections and Skill Level Projections tabs of the 2021 Employment Projections data file have had a minor update applied because a small number of occupations were found to have the incorrect skill level displayed. This was resolved with an update on 27/6/2022.


Methodology

Each year, the National Skills Commission produces employment projections by industry, occupation, skill level and region for the following five years, the latest being the five years to November 2026. These projections are designed to provide a guide to the future direction of the labour market. However, like all such exercises, they are subject to an inherent degree of uncertainty. Caution should be exercised when using these projections. All efforts have been made to ensure these projections are as accurate as possible, however, the data used is inherently volatile and there are a large number of small series. Please note that due to the unprecedented changes in labour market indicators as a result of COVID-19, the ABS ceased the publication of trend estimates in March 2020, which have in the past been a key component for the employment projections. Seasonally adjusted data, which are more variable, have been used instead.

The projections have been derived by using a blend of two techniques, namely:

  • best practice time series models that summarise the information that is in a time series and convert it into a forecast. The time series projections are made by combining forecasts from autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) and exponential smoothing with damped trend (ESWDT) models, with some adjustments made to take account of research undertaken by the National Skills Commission and known future industry developments.
  • CGE modelling work the NSC undertook in 2022 with the Victoria University Centre of Policy Studies, to better understand how structural changes in the economy may affect employment growth.

The nature of both exercises means that there will be differences between them. The NSC believes that having a range of techniques assessing future skills trends is one way of mitigating the risks of error inherent in any forecasting exercise.

The projection for total employment growth is consistent with employment growth to November 2021 and the Government’s forecasts and projections for total employment growth from 2021-22 onwards, as published in the 2021-22 MYEFO.

The National Skills Commission’s projections are medium term and point-in-time projections and are thus not indicative of expected employment growth in the short term.


Useful links

The National Careers Institute features the employment projections data on its Your Career website.

Back to top