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Where are the Australian Ag Jobs?
By Australia


If you are planning a career in Agriculture or just interested in the current state of play, you may wish to take a look at which Australian Agriculture sectors are experiencing growth and where the best options for employment may be found around Australia.

The latest Australian Government Industry Outlook provides an insight into Australian Agriculture's current situation, future outlook and reports on statistics collected over the past five years.

Overall Picture
The most recent data shows that the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing industry employs 325,800 people. This figure covers production activities and does not include Agricultural support services.

With many outside influences including environmental challenges, the impact on employment flows through to the number of positions available. 

Employment in the industry hit a historic low in 2013, but the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Economics and Sciences (ABARES) reports growth in employment of 11.4% since this time.

Which sectors are leading the employment growth?
Employment growth can be found in the following industry sectors:


  • Mushroom and Vegetable Growing
  • Agriculture and Fishing Support Services
  • Fruit and Tree Growing
  • Aquaculture (breeding and raising fish)
  • Forestry Support Services
  • Fishing

Sheep, Beef Cattle and Grain farming saw the largest decline in employment (27.7%) and can be largely attributed to many parts of Australia experiencing drought conditions over recent years. 

Where are the jobs?
Agriculture is an important source of employment for regional Australia, with the majority of this work found in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. 

Victoria experienced 12.2% employment growth over the last 5 years, while South Australia saw growth of 4.9%.

Within the States themselves, various districts saw positive growth in Agricultural employment:


  • Central West, New South Wales
  • Warrnambool and South West, Victoria
  • Ballarat, Victoria

Over the period employment was measured, Queensland reported the largest decline in employment growth with a 39.3% falloff. The severe flooding in Queensland in 2011 is named as the major factor for this extraordinary decrease.

Which sectors will future employment come from?
The Government’s Industry Outlook predicts growth in several sectors for the five years to the year 2018:


  • Agriculture and Fishing Support Services
  • Other crop growing (Sugar cane, cotton, and other crops)
  • Poultry farming
  • Fishing

With this year’s fall in the Australian dollar and the signing of the free trade agreement with China in late 2014, this creates an ideal environment for Agricultural exports. As China seeks to secure food supply for their population, this recent opening of the door to China presents new opportunities for Australian farmers. The lower Aussie dollar is also assisting other overseas markets with recent signs of an increase in beef and produce being exported into the U.S. as just two examples.

It’s unknown whether the Australian Government’s recent budget announcement giving immediate tax deductions to small businesses will have a positive effect on production, but Agriculture associated industries will see immediate benefits with an interest in farm machinery and other capital expenditure items already underway.

The signs from small business, Australia’s largest employer, appear positive and with overall business and consumer confidence on the rise it can only be encouraging for employment in Agriculture.

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