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Melbourne’s Economic Powerhouse

Melbourne’s Economic Powerhouse
March 23, 2016 Simon Pressley

Victoria’s economy at the moment is strong, as evidenced by its AAA credit rating. The biggest industry employers in Greater-Melbourne are Health (11.6%), Manufacturing (11.4%), Retail (11.1%), Professional Services (9.6%), Education (8.5%), and Construction (6.3%).

Retail (192,211) and Accommodation and Food Services (104,223) are big employers. With Tourism Australia recently reporting an increase of 13.6% in international visitor numbers in Victoria during 2015 there is every reason to expect the retail and accommodation sectors to remain strong.

One can’t under-estimate the contribution which the international student market provides Melbourne. The education sector as a whole employs 148,345 people. Thirty-four per cent (34%) of Australia’s enrolments of international students in 2013 were in Victoria (see Melbourne). This equates to an extra 112,944 students who each spend (say) $50,000 per year on local goods and services, not to mention their visiting family and friends.

While the construction industry is a big employer, the legacy of many of these new jobs over the last few years is a pipeline of housing supply which Propertyology’s research suggests is significantly more than demand requires. Frankly, there must be question marks surrounding the sustainability of thousands of Melbourne construction industry jobs.

The strong economy has produced consistent job growth since 2010. Melbourne’s employment opportunities have coincided with a down turn in Western Australia’s (iron ore) economy, resulting in a rebound in Interstate Migration since 2012 as shown in this graph.


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