Labourers

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The Labourers graphic shows image 40% of jobs are regional. 26% of workers are aged 15 to 24 years. 15% of workers are self-employed.
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10% of workers hold a bachelor degree or higher. 24% of workers hold a certificate 3 or higher qualification. 7% of workers hold an other qualification. 59% of workers do not hold a post-school qualification.

 

Annual employment growth

Labourers perform a variety of routine and repetitive physical tasks. Some Labourer jobs require physical fitness (like Building and Plumbing Labourers) but not all involve heavy work (for example, Fast Food Cooks).

Jobs in this group are often advertised informally, with many being filled by applicants approaching the employer directly.

Most Labourer positions do not generally require post-school qualifications, a large share of workers are aged 15 to 24 years and part-time work is common. Accordingly, there are good opportunities for young people to gain work experience or combine work with study. There are also opportunities for workers across Australia, with 40% of Labourers employed in regional areas.

Top employing occupations

Commercial Cleaners 167,000
Kitchenhands 138,800
Packers 71,300
Other Miscellaneous Labourers 70,500
Shelf Fillers 65,000
Building and Plumbing Labourers 63,200
Handypersons 46,700
Fast Food Cooks 44,500
Domestic Cleaners 39,500
Garden and Nursery Labourers 35,500
Concreters 31,500
Food and Drink Factory Workers 29,900
Housekeepers 28,100
Livestock Farm Workers 27,200
Crop Farm Workers 24,900
Insulation and Home Improvement Installers 22,600
Structural Steel Construction Workers 22,600
Product Assemblers 22,200
Car Detailers 19,000
Meat, Poultry and Seafood Process Workers 17,100

While formal qualifications are not necessarily a requirement for these roles, some may require mandatory tickets or licences. In addition, job seekers will generally need to possess a driver licence and their own transport.

Almost a third of employers who recruit for Labourers use word-of-mouth. If you are looking for work in these occupations, consider speaking to friends, family and your broader network about opportunities. There has also been a large increase in the proportion of employers using social media when hiring Labourers (from 12% of employers in 2019 to 21% in 2020).

Employment by occupation subgroup, Labourers

  Employment Employment Profile Workforce Educational Profile Projected Employment
  Employ’t May 2021 5 year change
to May 2021
Part-time Female Aged 15 to 24 years Aged 55 years or older Bachelor degree or higher Cert III or higher VET qual No post-school qual 5 year change to May 2025
Occupation subgroup ‘000 ‘000 % % % % % % % % %
Cleaners and Laundry Workers 280.2 11.3 4.2 66 58 13 28 14 23 57 4.4
Construction and Mining Labourers 170.1 4.0 2.4 15 3 18 14 5 36 50 4.9
Factory Process Workers 194.2 5.0 2.6 26 36 18 19 14 19 60 1.2
Farm, Forestry and Garden Workers 110.0 -11.5 -9.4 35 28 23 22 5 29 55 2.1
Food Preparation Assistants 190.5 18.5 10.8 82 52 60 10 9 13 74 8.6
Other Labourers 233.9 33.8 16.9 50 23 27 25 7 23 58 4.6
All Labourers 1,181.9 59.4 5.3 48 35 26 20 10 24 59 4.4

Sources: ABS, Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations; ABS, Characteristics of Employment; ABS, Education and Work; ABS, Labour Force (seasonally adjusted and annual averages of original data); National Skills Commission, Survey of Employers’ Recruitment Experiences; National Skills Commission, Employers’ Insights on the Australian Labour Market: 2020 Data Report; National Skills Commission, Skills Priority List, 2021.