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Each year the National Skills Commission (NSC) produces employment projections to provide a guide to the likely future direction of the jobs market over the next five years.

Each year these projections are updated to reflect emerging trends and developments.

The latest data released covers the five years to November 2026 and reflects the continuing and relentless growth of the health care sector in this country.

Of all 19 sectors the ABS use in their data healthcare and social assistance (HCSA) is easily the largest local employing sector comprising 14 per cent of all jobs (1.86 million jobs). The second-largest employing sector is Retail trade with 10 per cent (1.4 million jobs).

The NSC predicts around HCSA 300,000 jobs will be created in the next five years, almost 50 per cent more jobs compared to the next largest growth sector (Professional, Scientific and Technical).

You might be surprised to discover that Registered Nurses (RNs) comprise only 15 per cent (290,000 jobs) of the sector’s total employees with 49,000 of those jobs having been added in the past five years.

The NSC is predicting a further 41,000 RNs (+14%) will be employed in the next five years.

Nursing is almost a majority part-time job with 48% of RN’s currently working part-time.

Aged and Disability Carers comprise the second-largest occupation group (11.8% of all jobs) within the sector, followed by receptionist (5.2%) and child carers (4.7%).

Comprising the remaining 63 per cent of the health care and social assistance sector include occupations such as

  • Anesthetists
  • Paramedics
  • Chiropractors
  • Osteopaths
  • GPs
  • Massage therapists
  • Dentists
  • Nutritionists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Optometrists
  • Social workers
  • Speech therapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Welfare support workers

The best news for the sector is that it seems the appeal of the health care sector seems to be matched by the proportion of young Australians attracted to jobs in the sector.

According to a survey of 5000 young people commissioned by career advice website and job board Skillsroad, one in five young Australian jobseekers desire a career in health care.

After health care at 21 per cent, the next most popular industries among young jobseekers were education and training at 12 per cent and professional services at 11 per cent.

The percentage of the local recruitment industry’s revenue generated by placements in the health care and social assistance is unknown but it’s certainly nowhere near proportionate to the number of HCSA jobs in the economy.

It will be intriguing to see if, and how, that changes over the next five years as the boom in health sector jobs accelerates.

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