Defence industry supports 61,600 Australian jobs

Media Release

The Australian defence industry employed 61,600 people and contributed $10.6 billion to the Australian economy in the 2021-22 financial year, according to new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Luisa Ryan, ABS Director of Environment and Satellite Accounts, said: “The latest Australian Defence Industry Account (ADIA) showed the number of people employed in the Defence industry grew by 9,000, up from 52,600 in 2020-21.

“The defence industry’s contribution to the Australian economy also increased by $1.8 billion over the same period, from $8.8 billion.”

The ADIA measures the direct economic contribution of Defence expenditure to the Australian economy in terms of Gross Value Added (GVA) and employment.

The main defence-related activities contributing to the economy were: Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, excluding Computer System Design, with 28 per cent of Defence GVA ($3.0 billion). This was followed by Computer System Design with 15 per cent ($1.6 billion), Transport Equipment Manufacturing with 13 per cent ($1.4 billion) and Building Construction with 10 per cent ($1.1 billion).

The largest employing industry sectors in 2021-22 were Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services with 31 per cent of defence-related employment (19,100 people), followed by Construction with 23 per cent (14,100 people) and Manufacturing with 20 per cent (12,500 people).

The majority of defence-related employment in 2021-22 was in New South Wales (22,700 or 37 per cent) and Victoria (14,000 or 23 per cent). South Australia grew by 1,400 employed persons to become the third largest employing state.

*Note: 2021-22 data for Tasmania and Northern Territory is suppressed due to confidentiality requirements and are noted as n.p. (not publishable).

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