Engineering Construction Activity, Australia

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Contains value of engineering construction work done, commenced and yet to be done

Reference period
September 2020

Key statistics

During the September quarter:

  • Seasonally adjusted work done fell 1.7%.
  • Seasonally adjusted work done for the private sector fell 4.2%.
  • Value of work commenced increased 13.9% in original terms.

Value of work done

September key figures

 Sep Qtr 20 

Sep Qtr 20 to
Jun Qtr 20

Sep Qtr 19 to
Sep Qtr 20
$m% change% change

Seasonally adjusted estimates(a)

Value of work done   
 For the private sector13 445.2-4.21.4
 For the public sector(b)9
 Total engineering construction22 583.9-1.71.9

a. Reference year for chain volume measures is 2018-19.
b. Includes work done by the private sector for the public sector and work done by the public sector.

Value of work done, chain volume measures


  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of total engineering construction work done fell 1.7% in the September quarter to $22,583.9m.

Private sector

  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of work done for the private sector fell 4.2% in the September quarter to $13,445.2m.

Public sector

  • The seasonally adjusted estimate for the value of work done for the public sector rose 2.1% in the September quarter to $9,138.7m.

Value of work commenced, current prices

  • The value of work commenced in the September quarter was $18,968.9m in original terms, an increase of 13.9% from the June quarter.

Data downloads

Time series spreadsheets

Data files
Data files


About this issue

This publication updates the preliminary estimates released in Construction Work Done, Australia (cat. no. 8755.0) on 25 November 2020.

Changes this issue

A new base year, 2018–2019, has been introduced into the chain volume estimates which has resulted in revisions to growth rates in subsequent periods. In addition, the chain volume estimates have been re-referenced to 2018–2019, thereby preserving additivity in the quarters after the reference year. Re-referencing affects the levels of, but not the movements in, chain volume estimates.

Data note

This release includes revisions to Engineering Construction data back to June 2020.

Several time series spreadsheets for recent quarters contain 'np' (not available for publication) annotations. This is due to confidential data being contained in these series.  

Mining projects tend to be complex in structure and comprise a number of different investment activities including exploration, engineering construction, plant and equipment and buildings. A feature article released in the March 2012 issue of Private New Capital Expenditure and Expected Expenditure, Australia (cat. no. 5625.0) provides a summary of the conceptual basis of the relevant ABS publications that measure investment in Australia, using a hypothetical mining project to illustrate how this investment is reflected in ABS data.

Managing the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on engineering construction statistics

The ABS is currently monitoring for potential impacts from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on construction activity statistics and will continue to do so for the period of the pandemic.

Quality assurance of September quarter data did not identify any significant impact to headline statistics. The designation of construction as an essential service enabled activity to progress despite social distancing restrictions implemented from late March.

The ABS is actively managing the potential risks from COVID-19 to data collection operations. The ABS appreciates the support of survey respondents in continuing to provide the data to compile this publication.

Suspension of trend series

The trend series attempts to measure underlying behaviour in construction activity. This measurement will be significantly affected by changes to regular patterns in activity during this time, as the construction industry faces on-going uncertainty. If the trend estimates in this publication were to be calculated without fully accounting for this irregular event, they would likely provide a misleading view of underlying construction activity.

It may be some time before the underlying trend in construction activity can be accurately estimated. The trend series have therefore been suspended starting from June 2020. The trend series will be reinstated when more certainty emerges in the underlying trend. 


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information you provide to us.

History of changes

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 8762.0

Article archive

Revisions to Engineering Construction Statistics , March quarter 2017 (cat. no. 8762.0)

A closer look at mining in Engineering Construction , March quarter 2012 (cat. no. 8762.0)

Additional Building and Construction feature articles can be found in Feature Articles by Catalogue Number

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