Labour market

This page shows how the Northern Territory's labour market compares to other states and territories, as well as national averages.

Unemployment rate

Trend data, percentage (%)May 19Apr 20May 20Monthly change pptAnnual change ppt
NSW 4.66.36.40.11.8
VIC 4.66.06.90.92.3
QLD 6.37.07.90.91.6
SA 5.87.27.90.72.1
WA 6.26.18.12.01.9
TAS 6.46.26.40.10.0
ACT4.34.34.1-0.1-0.2
NT5.05.67.41.82.4
Australia5.26.47.10.71.9

Source: ABS Cat No 6202.0

Unemployment rate range, minimum / maximum and current value

Unemployment rate - monthly data: Since 2000, the minimum monthly change in the Northern Territory unemployment rate has been 2 per cent and the maximum 8.5 per cent; typically the unemployment rate ranges between 3.1 per cent and 5.8 per cent. In May 2020, the unemployment rate increased to 7.4 per cent.Unemployment rate - monthly data chart: Between 2015 and 2020 the female unemployment rate decreased faster than the male unemployment rate, and still remains lower than the male unemployment rate.

Participation rate

Trend data, percentage (%)May 19Apr 20May 20 Monthly change ppt Annual change ppt
Northern Territory 71.7 74.5 74.70.23.0
Australia 66.0 63.662.9-0.7-3.2

Source: ABS Cat No 6202.0

Total persons employed

Trend data, 000sMay 19Apr 20May 20 Monthly change % Annual change %
Northern Territory 128,567 132,055 129,930-1.61.1
Total full-time  99,154 101,50599,357-2.10.2
Total part-time  29,41330,55130,5730.13.9

Source: ABS Cat No 6202.0

Employment growth range, minimum / maximum and current value

Employment growth - monthly data: Since 2000, the minimum monthly change in Northern Territory employment has been -5.3 per cent and the maximum 5.6 per cent; typically employment growth ranges between -0.5 per cent and 0.7 per cent. In May 2020, monthly employment rate decreased to 1.6 per cent.Employment growth - YoY data: Over the past two years, part time employment has been the main driver of total employment growth in the Northern Territory.

Aggregate monthly hours worked

Trend data, 000s hrsMar 19Apr 20May 20 Monthly change % Annual change %
Northern Territory 18.518.1 18.20.7-1.9
Australia 1,764 1,617 1,605-0.7-9.0

Source: ABS Cat No 6202.0

Labour underutilisation

Trend dataMay 19Apr 20May 20Monthly change ppt Annual change ppt
Northern Territory      
Underemployed workers (000's)​ 8.914.514.5n/a5.6
Underemployment rate (%)​ 6.510.410.3-0.13.8
Labour force underutilisation rate (%)​ 11.616.017.71.76.1
Australia​    
Underemployed workers (000's)​ 1,159.2 1,821.0 1,711.5-0.1552.3
Underemployment rate (%)​ 8.513.813.1-0.74.6
​Labour force underutilisation rate (%)​ 13.820.120.20.16.4

Source: ABS Cat No 6202.0

Employment by sector

Annual moving average as at February 2020
Industry sector, original data, numbers
Full-timePart-timeTotal % of total employed
Agriculture, forestry and fishing  1,8943362,230 1.7
Mining  2,162252,1871.7
Manufacturing  3,250398 3,648 2.8
Electricity, gas, water and waste services  1,732701,8021.4
Construction  9,4831,000 10,4828.0
Wholesale trade  2,445349 2,7942.1
Retail trade  6,840 4,633 11,4738.8
Accommodation and food services  4,4403,9038,3436.4
Transport, postal and warehousing  4,7721,3006,073 4.6
Information media and telecommunications  1,102307 1,409 1.1
Financial and insurance services  1,152302 1,454 1.1
Rental, hiring and real estate services  2,0173842,401 1.8
Professional, scientific and technical services  6,020 1,3367,357 5.6
Administrative and support services  3,580 1,8355,4154.1
Public administration and safety  17,910 2,676 20,58515.7
Education and training  8,9663,353 12,3199.4
Health care and social assistance  14,889 4,937 19,82515.2
Arts and recreation services  2,822 1,197 4,019 3.1
Other services  5,756 1,1786,933 5.3

Caution: Monthly data can be volatile due to the small sample size from which NT data is derived
Source: ABS Cat No 6291.0.55.003

Job vacancies

Northern Territory, original data, numbers (000s)Feb 19Nov 19Feb 20 Previous qtr % change Annual % change
Total vacancies 3.63.52.9-17.10.7
Public sector 0.5 0.5 0.860.023.8
Private sector 3.1 3.02.1-30.0-2.4

Source: ABS Cat No 6354.0

Average annual salary by selected occupation

Occupation, value ($000s) 2019 salary range
Information technology  
Team leader 65-85
Desktop support (L2) 55-70
Office support  
Office manager 65-85
Administration assistant (6 - 12 months experience) 45-55
Resources and mining  
Shift supervisor (mineral processing) 95-120
Boiler maker / welder 130-170
Mining engineer 115-160
Mine surveyor 115-145
Construction (building)  
Project manager 110-160
Foreperson 70-110
Leading hand 65-85
Energy  
Power systems engineer 95-140
Solar engineer 105-125
Insurance  
Underwriter (domestic) 51-55
Team leader (sales / service) 55-65
Accounting and finance  
Finance director / chief financial officer 1 120-150
Financial accountant 1 75-95
Internal auditor 65-80
Senior bookkeeper 60-70

1 Business turnover up to $50 million
Source: 2017 Hays Salary Guide

Average weekly earnings

Original data, value ($)
Full time adult total earnings
Nov 18May 19Nov 19 Previous qtr % change Annual % change
Northern Territory  1,746 1,765 1,7780.71.8
Males 1,9121,9071,9110.20.0
Females 1,557 1,599 1,6140.93.6
Australia 1,669 1,696 1,7211.53.1
Males 1,785 1,813 1,8401.53.1
Females 1,478 1,506 1,5291.53.4

Source: ABS Cat No 6302

Median wage and salary income

Value ($)2016-17
Northern Territory 58,669
Darwin City 60,331
Darwin suburbs 59,292
Litchfield 61,382
Palmerston 65,231
Alice Springs 54,337
Barkly 50,337
Daly, Tiwi, West Arnhem 41,848
East Arnhem 57,307
Katherine 50,150

Source: ABS Cat No 6524.0.55.002

Last updated: 07 July 2020

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