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The Australian Construction Labour Force in 2017

 Occupation Employees
Numbers Proportion
Construction and Mining Labourers 130979 20.8%
Bricklayers and Carpenters and Joiners 124709 19.8%
Electricians 110712 17.6%
Construction Managers 72679 11.6%
Plumbers 67024 10.7%
Glaziers, Plasterers and Tilers 54649 8.7%
Floor Finishes and Painting Trades Workers 48460 7.7%
Air Conditoning and refrigeration mechanics 17492 2.7%
Construction Trades Workers 2403 .4%
Total 629107


The construction industry has a workforce of 995,300, as estimated by the Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council in its 2016 Environmental Scan.

Construction is the second largest industry gross value added contributor to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within the Australian economy at nearly 7.8% in trend terms. The construction industry has a workforce of 995,300, which is the third largest workforce behind retail trade and health care employing over 8.6% of all Australian workers.

With an expected 12% increase in construction workers forecast by 2016-17, the nation will require over 127,000 additional workers across construction occupations. Taking into account an ageing population there will need to be a very significant number of new entrants to the workforce to reach this number. Master Builders Australia estimates this at around 50,000 industry entrants per year. The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations forecasts that the construction industry is projected to experience stronger growth with 131,200 additional workers to be employed in the industry by 2016-17.
Safe Work Australia has estimated the construction industry in 2015-16 as employing 1.02 million people, or 9% of the Australian work force.

Considerable growth is estimated for the construction industry work force. All new entrants to the construction industry require completion of safety induction training and a White Card License prior to entry to a building site.
The composition of the existing construction industry workforce is shown in the above Table . More than half of the construction industry workforce are labourers, bricklayers, carpenters and joiners or electricians.

As at the 2014 Australian Census, approximately one third of the construction industry was comprised of persons in administrative roles, including in human resources and contract drafting. These numbers are not captured in the above Table

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