Professional services recording strongest employment growth

Posted 23 March 2015

The demand for experts in law and other professional services is continuing to grow, according to recently released figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS found that the professional services sector has recorded the strongest growth of any industry in recent months, adding a considerable number of new positions. The research revealed that employment in this sector has expanded by 90,000 workers in the last 12 months.

This puts the industry well ahead of other areas that are seeing high growth, with sectors like construction - second on the list - only expanding by half as much.

While professional services, like law firms, are seeing the strongest increase, a number of different industries have recorded positive growth. Working in the public sector, for example, has grown between February 2014 and 2015, as has the financial sector.

Across all industries, employment in Australia has increased by an estimated 1.6 percent, adding a further 167,000 positions - with the professional services sector far exceeding average employment growth.

Although the increase has been highest in white-collar positions, some industries have not recorded the same growth. According to the research, the number of individuals working in mining and manufacturing have both seen the steepest declines in the face of lower demand for these skill sets.

As a result, professional services has continued to be the largest sector in terms of employment. Across Australia, a total of 2.7 million individuals now work in this area, making it the single largest employer in the country.

This proportion has also grown considerably over time, with the number of individuals employed in professional and management positions growing from 27 per cent 20 years ago up to 34 per cent in the most recent figures.