8165.0 - Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits , Jun 2007 to Jun 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/01/2012   
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31 January 2012
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra Time)

Business numbers rise

The number of actively trading businesses in Australia increased by 3.6% in 2009-10 and 0.4% in 2010-11 according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This is due to an increase in new business registrations, as well as a decline in the exit rate of businesses.

In June 2011, Australia had more than 2.1 million businesses. The greatest number of Australian businesses were in the construction industry (17%), followed by professional, scientific and technical services (12%) and rental, hiring and real estate services (11%).

Both the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry and the manufacturing industry have recorded a decline in numbers every year since 2007.

In 2009-10, every state and territory recorded an increase in the number of businesses. However, in 2010-11, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania all recorded a decrease in business numbers.

With the vast majority (96%) of Australian businesses being small businesses, in June 2011 the ABS found that:
  • Over two million businesses employed less than 20 staff (including 1.3 million businesses who did not employ any staff); and
  • Over two million businesses had an annual turnover of less than $2 million.

Further details can be found in Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits (cat. no. 8165.0), available for free download from the ABS website www.abs.gov.au

Media note:

When reporting ABS data the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) must be attributed as the source.