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 (%)Dec 18Nov 19Dec 19Monthly change pptAnnual change ppt
NSW 4.3 4.6 4.60.00.3
VIC 4.6 4.84.80.00.2
QLD 6.1 6.1 6.0-0.1-0.1
SA 5.96.46.40.00.5
WA 6.35.65.60.0-0.7
TAS 6.25.95.8-0.1-0.4
ACT3.63.13.1 0.0-0.4
NT4.65.55.60.10.9
Australia5.0 5.2 5.10.00.1

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 2.6 per cent and the maximum 7.6 per cent; typically the unemployment rate ranges between 3.4 per cent and 5.7 per cent. In December 2019, the unemployment rate was 5.6 per cent.Unemployment rate - monthly data chart: Between 2015 and 2019 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 (%)Dec 19Nov 19Dec 19 Monthly change ppt Annual change ppt
Northern Territory 73.8 74.7 75.10.41.3
Australia 65.666.0 66.00.0 0.4

Source: ABS Cat No 6202.0

Total persons employed

Trend data, 000sDec 18Nov 19Dec 19 Monthly change % Annual change %
Northern Territory 132,605 132,665 133,1090.30.4
Total full-time  105,156103,291 103,8410.5 -1.3
Total part-time  27,450 27,806 29,3735.67.0

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 -1.0 per cent and the maximum 1.3 per cent; typically employment growth ranges between -0.5 per cent and 0.7 per cent. In December 2019, monthly employment rate increased to 0.3 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 hrsDec 18Nov 19Dec 19 Monthly change % Annual change %
Northern Territory 19,756 19,26819,4721.1 -1.4
Australia 1,757,628 1,785,351 1,788,205 0.21.7

Source: ABS Cat No 6202.0

Labour underutilisation

Trend dataDec 18Nov 19Dec 19Monthly change ppt Annual change ppt
Northern Territory      
Underemployed workers (000's)​ 6.87.77.6-0.2-0.8
Underemployment rate (%)​ 4.65.55.60.10.9
Labour force underutilisation rate (%)​ 9.511.010.9-0.11.4
Australia​    
Underemployed workers (000's)​ 1,107.7 1,138.6 1,137.7-0.9-30.1
Underemployment rate (%)​ 8.3 8.3 8.30.00.0
​Labour force underutilisation rate (%)​ 13.3 13.5 13.5-0.10.2

Source: ABS Cat No 6202.0

Employment by sector

Annual moving average as at November 2019
Industry sector, original data, numbers
Full-timePart-timeTotal % of total employed
Agriculture, forestry and fishing  1,9612552,216 1.7
Mining  2,509252,5341.9
Manufacturing  3,210395 3,605 2.8
Electricity, gas, water and waste services  2,225125 2,3511.8
Construction  9,390773 10,1647.8
Wholesale trade  2,681302 2,9832.3
Retail trade  6,468 4,960 11,4288.8
Accommodation and food services  4,6863,9468,6326.6
Transport, postal and warehousing  4,8791,0895,977 4.6
Information media and telecommunications  1,029475 1,503 1.2
Financial and insurance services  1,092 293 1,386 1.1
Rental, hiring and real estate services  1,9363522,288 1.8
Professional, scientific and technical services  5,612 1,4237,035 5.4
Administrative and support services  3,986 1,6305,6164.3
Public administration and safety  17,658 2,761 20,41815.7
Education and training  8,5793,259 11,8389.1
Health care and social assistance  14,903 4,729 19,63215.0
Arts and recreation services  2,953 1,120 4,074 3.1
Other services  5,562 1,2036,764 5.2

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)Nov 18Aug 19Nov 19 Previous qtr % change Annual % change
Total vacancies 4.04.43.5-20.5-12.5
Public sector 0.7 0.7 0.5-28.6-28.6
Private sector 3.3 3.7 3.0-18.9-9.1

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
May 19Nov 18May 18 Previous qtr % change Annual % change
Northern Territory  1,775 1,727 1,8122.8-2.0
Males 1,9211,878 2,0622.3 -6.9
Females 1,608 1,553 1,5213.65.7
Australia 1,695 1,668 1,6511.62.7
Males 1,812 1,784 1,7701.52.4
Females 1,507 1,478 1,4532.03.7

Source: ABS Cat No 6302

Median wage and salary income

Value ($)2015-16
Northern Territory 59,466
Darwin City 56,408
Darwin suburbs 59,556
Litchfield 62,049
Palmerston 66,171
Alice Springs 57,023
Barkly 50,034
Daly, Tiwi, West Arnhem 43,658
East Arnhem 58,611
Katherine 50,737

Source: ABS Cat No 6524.0.55.002

Last updated: 06 February 2020

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