Outlook for Healthcare Jobs in Australia 2019

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Aged Care Jobs

As 2019 comes into full swing, many Australians will be thinking of changing jobs or even completely moving careers for reasons including better pay, career progression and a more meaningful occupation amongst others. At the same time, economists and public policy makers will also be paying close attention to Australia’s labour market, which saw a fall in unemployment to 5.0% in December 2019 - the lowest level since June 2011.

Focusing specifically on job prospects within Australia’s vast Healthcare and Social Assistance sector, the largest and fastest growing industry in the economy, the outlook for 2019 remains bright with strong employment growth set to continue and new opportunities to open up around the country. This means healthcare jobs are a strong option for anyone considering a career with an upward trajectory. 

Healthcare & Social Assistance: Australia’s Largest Field of Employment

The Healthcare and Social Assistance sector is easily Australia’s largest jobs provider, employing over 1.5 million people according to data from the 2016 national census. This can be partly attributed to Australia aging population of baby boomers increasing the demand for health care and social assistance. Given the large size of this sector and the vital services it provides to the community, it’s no surprise more Aussies are attracted to jobs in healthcare and the strong prospects for continued growth they provide.

Strong Growth in Healthcare Jobs Set to Continue

One thing all economists and policy makers agree upon are the bright prospects for strong, continued growth in healthcare jobs across Australia, in not only calendar year 2019 but also the next few years beyond. In fact, 2017 figures show 1 in every 3 new jobs created in the five years between 2012-2017 were in this sector, equating to approximately 283,000 new positions or an increase of over 21%. Of these new positions, 55% were full time, with 77% taken up by female employees who worked an average 36 hours per week. Looking ahead, the federal government predicts total jobs growth in this field of 16% in the five years from May 2017 to May 2022, which would equal an additional 250,500 staff.

Jobs Growth Driven by Ageing Demographics & Strong Population Growth

Underpinning the sustainability of this strong growth of healthcare jobs in Australia are two powerful demographic forces which are set to continue for the foreseeable future. These two forces are namely the large number of baby boomers (born between the years 1946-1964) moving into retirement and therefore requiring greater use of aged care and basic medical services, combined with Australia’s strong population growth – including new families in the outer suburbs of our capital centres and regional centres, who’ll place growing demands on childcare, GP and paediatric services. Taken together, there’ll be more Australians of both childhood and retirement age – the two age groups who consume the most healthcare services – requiring professional care and attention from qualified staff. With shortages in certain fields of the healthcare sector, namely aged care jobs and nursing jobs, workers considering jobs in healthcare are set to enjoy a wealth of vacant positions and generous incentives to choose between!