8772.0 - Private Sector Construction Industry, Australia, 2002-03  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/12/2004   
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December 17, 2004
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Australia's Construction Industry generates $140 Billion in income

At $140 billion (b), the income generated by private sector Australian businesses in the construction industry during 2002-03 was equivalent to 5% of Australia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Income from contracting and subcontracting work made up 90% or $126b of the total income ($140b) from the construction industry. Trade Services businesses (e.g. bricklayers, plumbers, electricians) earned $54 billion from contracting/subcontracting work. Non-residential (e.g. factories, commercial buildings) and non-building (e.g. roads, bridges, railways) construction businesses earned $39b, and residential building (e.g. houses, units) businesses earned $32b.

Just over half ($63b or 51%) of the contracting/subcontracting income was generated through the construction of houses or other residential buildings (e.g. apartments, duplexes). Income from the construction of other activity included:
    • Non-residential building - $37b or 30%;
    • Road and bridge construction - $6b or 5%;
    • Other non-building construction (e.g. railways, dams, pipelines) - $19b or 15%.
Private sector businesses were the main source of contracting income for all construction businesses accounting for just under half (46% or $38b) of the total contracting income ($83b). Construction businesses earned $30b (36%) from householders.

A total operating profit before tax of $14b was recorded by construction businesses in 2002-03, resulting in a operating profit margin of 10%.

Most (65%) of the construction businesses were small earning less than $100,000 in income. These small businesses accounted for almost one-third (32%) of total construction industry employment (716,000 people). In contrast, 0.4% of businesses were earning
$10 million or more, with 15% of total employment.

Although the Northern Territory had the smallest resident population in Australia, it generated the highest construction income per head of population at $11,700 per person during 2002-03. This was followed by the Australian Capital Territory ($8,200), Western Australia ($8,100) and Queensland ($7,600). The national average was $7,100.

Further information is in Private Sector Construction Industry, Australia, 2002-03 (cat. no. 8772.0).