Manufacturing broadly relates to the physical or chemical transformation of materials or components into new products, whether the work is performed by power-driven machinery or by hand. Manufacturing covers a range of production techniques ranging from computer-assisted production using robots to production of fine jewellery by hand.
The manufacturing industry contributed almost 11% to Australia's gross domestic product in 2003-04. Although the value of the manufacturing industry's gross value added has grown by 25% over the past 10 years, the industry's share of the total production of goods and services in the economy has fallen from 13% to its current level over the period.
In May 2005 there were a million people working in the manufacturing industry (including both full-time and part-time workers). This represented 11% of total people employed. The majority of those employed within the manufacturing industry were full-time workers (88%) and male (73%).
The manufacturing industry also dominates Australia's merchandise exports, accounting for 53% of the value of exports by industry of origin in 2004-05.