8771.0 - Private Sector Construction Industry, Australia, Preliminary, 1996-97  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/09/1998   
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September 7, 1998
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Preliminary estimates from 1996-97 private sector construction survey

The Australian Bureau of Statistics today released preliminary 1996-97 operation and performance estimates of businesses which employ people in the private sector construction industry. The results are from the first detailed survey of the construction industry conducted since the end of the 1980s.

The survey releases data about financial aspects of business operations in the industry, including income, expenses and profitability, as well as strategies businesses use in coping with downturns in the industry, waste management practices and computer use.

The survey found that an estimated 81,000 businesses employed 327,700 people - five per cent of people employed in the Australian economy. Seventy-two per cent of these businesses were in the Construction Trade Services industry (which includes such trades as bricklayers and plumbers). Construction Trade Services also had two-thirds of employment in the sector.

The remainder of businesses were in the General Construction industry (which includes residential and non-residential builders). These contributed 60 per cent of income and 60 per cent of expenses though the Construction Trade Services industry realised 58 per cent of the sector's total pre-tax operating profit of $3,041 million.

The overall profit margin of the private sector employing construction industry was 5.8 per cent in 1996-97. The margins for Construction Trade Services and General Construction were 8.6 per cent and 4.0 per cent respectively.

Further details are available in Private Sector Construction Industry, Australia (Preliminary) (cat. no. 8771.0) available from ABS Bookshops. An overview of the publication is available from this site.