A wide range of publicly available data provides insights into the Australian agricultural workforce. This includes data and analysis published by ABARES, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Jobs and Skills Australia and other sources.
This page provides a selection of data sources to assist policy makers, industry bodies, employer groups, unions and other interested parties to navigate available data.
This ABARES Insights paper describes Australia’s agricultural workforce, providing key information and statistics in one place, using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Census of Population and Housing.
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing
The Census of Population and Housing is held every five years and collects information on demographic and personal characteristics. This allows the agricultural workforce to be examined in conjunction with other related topics. Census data can be accessed through a range of data tools.
Jobs and Skills Australia’s Labour Market Insights features information on the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing industry, including the number of employed persons, median weekly earnings, median age, largest employing occupations and workforce share.
Data from the monthly Labour Force Survey are released in two stages and this second release includes quarterly employment data for the agriculture industry (see Table 06. Employed persons by Industry sub-division of main job (ANZSIC) and Sex).
The Australian Labour Account provides annual estimates for jobs, people, hours and payments for the agriculture industry (see Data Explorer dataset - Labour Account balanced).
This uses Single Touch Payroll data from the Australian Taxation Office to provide a weekly payroll jobs index for the agriculture industry (see Table 6: Industry sub-division – Payroll jobs indexes).
This brings together personal income tax and business data to provide annual jobs and income data for the agriculture industry by region (see Table 3. Employee jobs and income, by industry and geography).
Further information: Australian Bureau of Statistics (7 November 2022), Industry employment guide
ABARES, Labour surveysABARES regularly surveys farmers about their labour use and presents the results in publications using a data visualisation product.
Jobs and Skills Australia, Small Area Labour Markets
Jobs and Skills Australia produces quarterly Small Area Labour Markets aggregate estimates of unemployment and the unemployment rate by region.
Jobs and Skills Australia, Labour Market Dashboards
Jobs and Skills Australia’s monthly Labour Market Dashboards combine a range of aggregate data from Jobs and Skills Australia, Department of Social Services and Australian Bureau of Statistics at the National, state and territory, and regional level.
Jobs and Skills Australia’s Jobs and Skills Atlas provides an overview of the labour market at national, state and regional level by occupation, skills and industry (including Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing).
Department of Home Affairs, Temporary Work (skilled) visa program
The Department of Home Affairs publishes data on the Temporary Work (skilled) visa program (subclasses 457 and 482), providing information on all visa grants and the number of visa holders in Australia.
Department of Home Affairs, Working Holiday Maker visa program
The Department of Home Affairs publishes data on the Working Holiday Maker visa program, providing information on visa grants recorded for the Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) and the Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462) in the current and previous financial years.
Department of Home Affairs, Working Holiday Maker visa program report
The Working Holiday Maker report is a bi-annual publication by the Department of Home Affairs that provides data on the Working Holiday, and Work and Holiday, visa streams.
The annual Skills Priority List provides an aggregate view of occupations in shortage, nationally, and by state and territory, as well as the future demand for occupations in Australia.
The former National Skills Commission (now Jobs and Skills Australia) Employment Projections provide a guide to the likely direction of the jobs market over the next five years, including for the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing industry.
Jobs and Skills Australia, Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey
Jobs and Skills Australia conducts an aggregate survey of at least 1,000 employers each month to find out about their experience when recruiting staff, as well as whether they are expecting to increase staffing levels.
Vocational Education and Training
The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) collects student and course data about the Australian vocational education and training (VET) sector through a number of statistical collections and surveys. NCVER’s DataBuilder can be used to customise data outputs from across NCVER’s collections.
Higher Education – provision
The Department of Education collects and disseminates student and course data relating to the provision of higher education at all Australian institutions.
Higher Education – outcomes
The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) are a suite of government endorsed surveys for higher education, across the student life cycle from commencement to employment.
Information is generally available disaggregated into 21 study areas. However, more detailed results disaggregated into 45 study areas (which separate ‘Agriculture and Forestry’ from ‘Environmental Studies’) can be found in the Report Tables, which accompany the survey reports.
In 2021, ABARES published a stocktake of a publicly available agricultural workforce data. This is presented in an interactive dashboard, giving users the opportunity to drill down into those data sources in greater detail.