Manufacturing employment has declined since the 1970s, with an apparent trend towards the states gaining an equal share of the jobs, according to a labour market economist.
Professor Jeff Borland from Melbourne University has noted that manufacturing jobs have been shed in downturns, but the overall trend has been that it will employ fewer and fewer people.
“It has been declining since the early 1970s,” he told The Age. His studies have also shown that the shift has been towards an equal share of jobs between states.
“In 1985 one in five jobs in Victoria was in manufacturing and only one in 10 in manufacturing jobs were in Queensland, but today basically every state has the same share of its jobs in manufacturing industry,” said Borland
“So while there is a lot of focus on the decline in Victoria and South Australia, in fact all states’ fortunes depend to pretty much an equal degree on manufacturing.” As reported last month in Manufacturers’ Monthly, the fifth version of Borland’s Labour Market Snapshot found a particular improvement in Queensland’s proportional share at the expense of states such as Victoria and South Australia.
About 20 per cent of all manufacturing jobs are now in Queensland, up from about 10 per cent three decades ago.