Projecting employment to 2026

Projecting employment to 2026

Assessing what jobs and skills will be in demand over the coming years is a key focus of the National Skills Commission.

Our latest projections - covering growth between November 2021 and November 2026 - show that jobs growth will be highest in service industries and in jobs requiring higher level qualifications. While we have found that there will be a wide range of jobs growth across industries, job types and skill levels, the most growth will be in services industries and higher skill level jobs.

Jobs growth over the next five years – by industry

The NSC’s five-year employment projections show four services industries accounting for almost two-thirds of employment growth to November 2026.

That said, future employment growth is not confined to these areas. Jobs growth is projected across a range of industries.

Major growth industries: health care and social assistance (301,000), professional scientific and technical services (206,600), education and training (149,600) and accommodation and food services (112,400).

Jobs growth over the next five years – by occupation

Our five-year employment projections show very strong employment growth for professionals (up by 494,200 or 14.7%) and community and personal service workers (up by 188,900 or 13.5%).

This reflects the strong growth expected in the services industries that are the leading employers of workers in these occupational groups. Together, these two occupational groups are expected to account for nearly 60% of total employment growth over the next five years.

Growth by occupation group: professionals (14.7%), community and personal services (13.5%), managers (9.2%), labourers (6.9%), technicians and trades (6.1%), machinery operators and drivers (4.7%), clerical and administrative (3.9%), sales (3.3%).

At a more detailed level, the jobs projected to have the largest increases in employment are aged and disabled carers, software and applications programmers, and registered nurses.

Occupations expected to see lower employment growth face ongoing challenges, such as from technological change. Some of these are occupations where work is routine and susceptible to automation. These include secretaries, bookkeepers and bank workers.

More than nine out of 10 jobs will require further study after school

One of the most telling findings from an analysis of the NSC’s five-year projections is the importance of education and training.

More than nine out of 10 new jobs to be created in the next five years will require post-secondary qualifications.

Jobs in STEM are predicted to grow by 14.2%, twice as fast as non-STEM jobs (7.4%). More than nine out of 10 new jobs will require a post-secondary school education.

Where the job opportunities will be

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 importance of skills needs in the Four Cs (Care, Computing, Cognitive ability and Communication), are evident. Some of the jobs with the strongest employment increases are:

  • Aged and disabled carers (up by 74,900 or 28.0%)
  • Registered nurses (up by 40,400 or 13.9%)
  • Software and application programmers (up by 42,200 or 27.0%)
  • Database and systems administrators, and ICT security specialists (up by 29,100 or 38.9%)
  • Management and organisation analysts (up by 28,200 or 32.2%).

The figure below highlights some occupations that are expected to increase or decrease considerably by November 2026.


Projected employment changes by occupation and skill level (‘000s and percentage growth)



NSC22-0041_Employ Projections_glossy_FA_ACC.pdf
Employment Outlook overview
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