Latest release

Australian Industry

Annual estimates of key economic and financial performance of industries in Australia, including income, expenses, profit and capital expenditure

Reference period
2020-21 financial year

Key statistics

  • Mining industry earnings grew $6.4b (4.1%).
  • Professional, scientific and technical services industry earnings grew $6.4b (19.2%).
  • Retail trade industry earnings grew $6.1b (19.8%).
  • Agriculture industry earnings grew $5.7b (36.4%).

Note: refers to Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

Australian Industry Employment and IVA data and movements, 2019-20 to 2020-21
ANZSIC DivisionEmployment at end of JuneIndustry value added (current prices)
20202021Change2019-202020-21Change
'000'000%$m$m%
Agriculture, forestry and fishing443439-0.926,72531,44617.7
Mining1871891.1208,231216,1163.8
Manufacturing8308391.1106,995107,3810.4
Electricity, gas, water and waste services1181234.249,72449,142-1.2
Construction110411968.3127,518130,7952.6
Wholesale trade5475694.072,44771,731-1.0
Retail trade133713883.882,91689,8568.4
Accommodation and food services957105510.239,39640,2872.3
Transport, postal and warehousing6346390.874,99871,682-4.4
Information media and telecommunications1591675.037,71636,948-2.0
Rental, hiring and real estate services4024132.885,12186,4911.6
Professional, scientific and technical services113012006.1136,843145,1086.0
Administrative and support services8859305.169,48267,139-3.4
Public administration and safety (private)87903.56,6156,9064.4
Education and training (private)4224516.932,05333,0963.3
Health care and social assistance (private)137014465.6102,419110,2017.6
Arts and recreation services2002178.512,83411,958-6.8
Other services4925348.532,22732,5551.0

 

Industry analysis

Summary

Note: COVID-19 government support payments, such as JobKeeper and Boosting Cash Flow for Employers, are included in Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) but excluded from Industry Value Added (IVA) and Sales and service income. For more information see the Treatment of COVID-19 government support payments section on the Methodology page. Financial estimates in this release are expressed in current prices.

  • The Mining industry experienced growth across all key data items in 2020-21. EBITDA increased 4.1% ($6.4b), following a 14.6% ($20.0b) increase in 2019-20. Mining IVA similarly experienced growth, increasing 3.8% ($7.9b) following a 12.1% ($22.5b) increase in 2019-20.
  • Professional, scientific and technical services industry showed growth, with EBITDA increasing 19.2% ($6.4b), following a 5.6% ($1.8b) increase in 2019-20. IVA grew 6.0% ($8.3b), following a 1.6% ($2.2b) increase in 2019-20.
  • Retail trade showed growth across all key data items, with EBITDA increasing 19.8% ($6.1b). IVA increased 8.3% ($6.9b) following a 3.3% ($2.6b) increase in 2019-20.
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry EBITDA increased 36.4% ($5.7b), following a 10.9% (-$1.9b) decline in 2019-20 and a 13.8% (-$2.8b) decline in 2018-19. Agriculture IVA increased 17.7% ($4.7b) following a decline of 9.4% (-$2.8b) in 2019-20 and an 8.8% (-$2.8b) decline in 2018-19.
  • Construction industry EBITDA increased 9.9% ($5.3b), following a 7.3% ($3.6b) growth in 2019-20. Following a decline in IVA of 1.3% (-$1.7b) in 2019-20, Construction industry IVA increased 2.6% ($3.3b) in 2020-21.
  • The Transport industry experienced declines across most financial items except government funding. EBITDA declined 0.7% (-$229m), while IVA decreased 4.4% (-$3.3b).
  • Total employment increased 581,000 people (5.1%), with the largest contributors consisting of industries that were recovering from COVID-19 related shutdowns. Accommodation and food services employment increased 98,000 people (10.2%) and Construction industry employment increased 92,000 people (8.3%).

For more information on the scope and coverage or survey design for this release, refer to the Methodology page.

Mining

Estimates for the Mining industry largely reflect calendar year reporting for 2020 and are mostly unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For a limited range of estimates adjusted to a June financial year basis, see the 'Off-June adjusted estimates by subdivision' data cube in the Data Downloads.

The Mining industry division experienced continued growth in 2020-21 compared to 2019-20, across all key data items, particularly EBITDA and IVA:

  • In current price terms, Mining earnings and IVA grew 4.1% ($6.4b) and 3.8% ($7.9b) respectively, driven by the 2.5% ($8.2b) increase in Sales and service income.
  • Mining earnings growth continued to be driven by the Metal ore mining subdivision, up 46.7% ($40.1b). This growth was offset by a 73.7% (-$16.0b) decline for the Coal mining subdivision and a 38.0% (-$17.9b) decline for the Oil and gas extraction subdivision. This is reflected by growth in merchandise exports for Metal ore mining and export declines in Coal mining and Oil and gas extraction.
  • The Export Price Index for Mining increased 9.2% between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years and decreased 6.3% between the 2019 and 2020 calendar years. This price effect is reflected in the difference between the decline of 2.5% (-$8.7b) in Mining Total income in the Australian industry by division, subdivision and Mining datacubes, which largely reflect calendar year growth for this industry, and the contrasting growth of 2.2% ($7.6b) for the financial year contained in the Off-June adjusted estimates datacube.
  • Metal ore mining earnings growth was driven by the Iron ore mining class, which increased 46.7% ($40.1b).
  • The 73.7% (-$16.0b) decrease in earnings for the Coal mining subdivision reflects the price decline for coal as shown in the 22.1% decline in the Export Price Index for this subdivision.
  • Mining industry employment increased 2,000 people (0.8%), driven by growth of 1,000 people (1.3%) in Metal ore mining and growth of 1,000 people (2.5%) in Exploration and other mining support services. However, Coal mining employment declined by 2,000 people (5.1%).

For more detailed financial performance information on the Mining industry please refer to the 'Mining industry' data cube.

Professional, scientific and technical services

  • Professional, scientific and technical services industry division earnings grew 19.2% ($6.4b), driven by a 4.0% ($10.3b) increase in Sales and service income and a $4.7b increase in COVID-19 government support payments.
  • IVA increased 6.4% ($8.8b), driven by the Professional, scientific and technical services (except computer system design and related services) subdivision, which increased 6.0% ($6.2b).
  • Professional, scientific and technical services industry employment grew 69,300 people (6.1%).

Retail trade

  • Retail trade industry division earnings grew 19.8% ($6.1b), driven by an 8.4% ($39.6b) increase in Sales and service income and a $2b increase in Funding from government for operational costs, of which $1.9b was from COVID-19 government support payments.
  • Other store-based retailing dominated division growth with a 10.8% ($20.1b) increase in Sales and service income and 18.1% ($3.2b) growth in earnings. This growth was strongly influenced by the 38.3% increase in online sales between 2019-20 and 2020-21. 
  • As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions impacting the operation of physical retail stores resulted in businesses and consumers relying more heavily on online retailing.
  • Retail trade industry IVA increased 8.4% ($6.9b).
  • Employment increased 51,000 people (3.8%), following a flat decline of 6,000 people (0.5%) in 2019-20. This was driven by Other store-based retailing, which experienced an increase in employment of 28,000 (4.1%) and Food retailing employment, which increased 10,000 people (2.2%).

Agriculture, forestry and fishing

  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry division earnings increased 36.4% ($5.7b), driven by a 10.6% ($9.7b) increase in Sales and service income.
  • Division growth was driven by the Agriculture subdivision, which experienced an increase in earnings of 44.1% ($5.7b).
  • This division was the only to record a negative employment movement in 2020-21, with employment declining 4,000 people (1.0%).

Construction

  • Construction industry division earnings increased 9.9% ($5.3b). This was driven by a 21.3% ($6.3b) increase in earnings for the Construction services subdivision, which was somewhat offset by a 4.2% (-$814m) decline for the Building construction subdivision and a 6.8% (-$264m) decline for the Heavy and civil engineering construction subdivision.
  • Industry division growth was driven by a 2.8% ($11.9b) increase in Sales and service income in 2020-21, following a 2.6% (-$11.4b) decline in 2019-20.
  • Industry division employment grew 92,000 people (8.3%), driven primarily by a 63,000 people (8.1%) increase for the Construction services subdivision.

Transport, postal and warehousing

  • The Transport, postal and warehousing industry division experienced declines in most key data items for 2020-21.
  • Industry division earnings declined 0.6% (-$229m), in spite of a $4b increase in Funding from government for operational costs, of which $3.8b COVID-19 government support payments.
  • The decline in division earnings was predominantly driven by a 7.6% (-$1.1b) decline in the Transport support services subdivision, which includes airport activity.
  • The 62.7% (-$13.9b) decline in sales and service income for Air and space transport reflects a significant decline in air travel related to COVID-19.

Business performance by size

Business performance indicators for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years were impacted by the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the government support payments which were a response to the downturn.

  • Sales and service income and IVA for both years excluded government COVID-19 support payments, while Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), Operating Profit Before Tax (OPBT) and Total income included them.
  • Wages and salaries and Total expenses included employee JobKeeper payments paid through the payroll.

Micro businesses

Micro businesses (those with 0-4 employees) are more likely than other businesses to be sole proprietors and partnerships, and also include a large number of non-employing businesses. These businesses have low or nil wages, and the owner operators pay themselves out of business profits rather than receiving a wage or salary. This can have a distorting effect on some indicators, reducing their share of wages and salaries, but increasing their OPBT and EBITDA when compared to other key indicators and other business sizes.

  • In 2020-21, micro businesses contributed a 10-25% share of the overall total of most key data items, with the exception of OPBT (35.4%) and EBITDA (31.2%). 

In 2020-21, compared to 2019-20, micro businesses reported decreases in most key data items, with increases recorded in Employment, OPBT and EBITDA.

  • Wages and salaries decreased 4.5% (-$3.6b), with Administrative and support services down 41.4% (-$2.3b) and Accommodation and food services declining by 37.6% (-$1.6b)
  • Sales and service income decreased 3.5% (-$26.7b), with the largest falls reported by Wholesale trade at 12.1% (-$8.8b) and Transport, postal and warehousing at 22.9% (-$8.4b)
  • EBITDA increased by 2.4% ($4.5b) driven by Agriculture, forestry and fishing with 23.1% ($2.5b) and Health care and social assistance with 7.6% ($1.7b), offset by a 19.2% (-$2.5b) decline in Mining.

Small businesses

  • Small businesses (those with 5-19 employees), contributed a 10%-20% share to the overall total of all key data items in 2020-21.

In 2020-21, compared to 2019-20 the small business sector experienced significant growth for all indicators, a reversal from the decline of the previous year.

  • Employment increased by 323,000 people (18.3%), with the largest increases recorded in Accommodation and food services (109,000 people or 48.4%) and Health care and social assistance (67,000 people or 49.6%). 
  • Sales and service income increased 16.5% ($70.0b), with the largest increases in Retail trade at 43.8% ($22.7b), and Transport, postal and warehousing at 91.2% ($10.6b). 
  • EBITDA grew 48.0% ($23.5b). The largest contributors to this growth were Construction at 82.1% ($5.7b) and Agricultural, forestry and fishing at 116.2% ($2.9b).

Medium businesses

  • Medium businesses (those with 20-199 employees) contributed a 20-30% share to the overall total of most data items, with the exception of OPBT (13.0%) and EBITDA (13.3%). 

In 2020-21, compared to 2019-20, medium businesses reported small increases in all key data items, with the largest increases appearing in OPBT and Sales and service income.

  • Wages and salaries increased 5.0% ($8.8b). The increase was driven by Professional, scientific and technical services (21.5%, $5.8b) and Administrative and support services (33.7%, $4.6b) industries, but was offset by the Health care and social assistance (-23.5%, -$3.8b) industry. 
  • Sales and service income increased by 6.3% ($53.6b), led by increases in Retail trade (17.0%, $18.0b), and Construction (16.7%, $15.2b), and offset by Health care and social assistance (-25.8%, -$7.5b). 
  • OPBT increased by 9.0% ($5.3b), led by Transport, postal and warehousing, rising 5031.7% ($3.2b) and Manufacturing, up 42.8% ($2.9b). This growth was offset by a decline in Mining of 122.3% (-$9.1b).

Large businesses

Large businesses (those with more than 199 employees) contributed a 35-45% share to the overall total of most data items. 

In 2020-21, compared to 2019-20, large businesses reported increases in most key data items. 

  • Employment increased by 145,000 people (3.7%), driven mainly by Health care and social assistance (98,000 people or 15.0%), and Wholesale trade (17,000 people or 9.4%), which was offset by Administrative and support services (down 29,000 people or 7.0%).
  • Wages and salaries increased by 3.0% ($8.8b), again driven by Health care and social assistance (18.0%, $6.4b), and offset by Administrative and support services (-10.3%, -$2.9b).
  • OPBT increased by 12.9% ($21.8b), driven by Mining, up 11.4% ($9.6b), and Professional, scientific and technical services, up 11.6% ($3.9b). This growth was offset by Rental, hiring and real estate services which declined 95.2% (-$2.3b).

Further information

For more information and estimates classified by business size refer to Table 5 'Business size by industry division' in the 'Australian Industry by division' data cube.

State and territory performance

In 2020-21, east coast states New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland accounted for the largest share of each of the three key state economic indicators: Sales and service income, Employment and Wages and salaries.

The key economic indicators for most states and territories were comparable to the population distribution in the Estimated Resident Population. New South Wales had the largest population share at 31.8%, corresponding to the largest share of total Sales and services income at 31.9%. Northern Territory had the smallest population share at 1.0% which corresponded to the smallest share in total Sales and service income.

State and territory growth

In 2020-21, when compared to 2019-20:

  • All states and territories experienced growth in all three key state economic indicators for Total selected industries, with the exceptions of Northern Territory which saw a 2.3% decrease in Sales and service income and Victoria, which declined 0.1%.
  • Western Australia's $53.4b contribution to total Sales and service income growth ($108.0b) was driven by the Mining industry ($34.3b), while New South Wales' growth ($33.6b) was driven by Retail trade ($15.2b), Wholesale trade ($7.0b), and Education and training ($6.2b).
  • After having the largest employment decline in 2019-20, Accommodation and food services industry had the largest total growth of 98,000 people (10.2%). This was driven by significant growth in the industry in all states and territories, with Northern Territory showing flat growth of under 500 people, whilst New South Wales had the highest growth of 44,000 people (13.7%).
  • Employment in Agriculture, forestry and fishing was the only industry that saw a decline in most state and territories, recording 4,000 less people (-0.9%) employed in the industry. Victoria saw the largest decline in employment, down 5,000 people (-4.9%).

Sales and service income across states and territories

In 2020-21:

  • New South Wales had the largest share of Sales and service income at 31.9% ($1,181b), followed by Victoria at 24.3% ($899.0b).

  • Wholesale trade was the largest industry for New South Wales and Victoria, contributing 17.3% ($204.4b) and 17.6% ($158.0b) respectively.

  • Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory contributed the least to overall Sales and service income, each respectively accounting for 1.4% ($52.5b), 1.3% ($49.4b) and 1.0% ($36.3b).

  • Retail trade and Wholesale trade were the top contributing industries to Sales and service income for South Australia and Queensland, contributing a combined 32.4% ($67.4b) and 28.0% ($189.7b) in each state respectively.

  • The Mining industry contributed 37.8% ($225.1b) to Sales and service income for Western Australia.

Employment across states and territories

In June 2021:

  • New South Wales had the largest share of national Employment at 4.0 million people (33.4%), followed by Victoria at 3.1 million people (25.9%) and Queensland at 2.3 million people (19.3%).

  • In Victoria, Retail trade was the highest employing industry with 377,000 people (12.2%).

  • Health care and social assistance was the largest employer for Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. The industry employed 302,000 people (13.2% of total state employment) in Queensland, 104,000 people (14.2%) in South Australia, 146,000 people (11.4%) in Western Australia and 35,000 people (15.7%) in Tasmania.

  • For New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Professional, scientific and technical services was the highest employing industry, employing 455,000 people (11.5% of the state total) and 37,000 people (18.7% of the territory total) respectively.

  • In the Northern Territory, the Construction and Health care and social assistance industries contributed the most to Employment, each employing 14,000 people (13.6%).

Wages and salaries across states and territories

In 2020-21:

  • New South Wales accounted for the largest share of wages and salaries at 33.5% ($223.2b), followed by Victoria at 25.5% ($170.0b) and Queensland at 18.6% ($123.8b).

  • Professional, scientific and technical services had the largest share of wages in New South Wales (17.1%, $38.2b), Victoria (16.1%, $27.4b), Queensland (12.1%, $14.9b) and Australian Capital Territory (28.8%, $3.3b).

  • Health care and social assistance had the largest share of wages in South Australia (12.8%, $4.8b) and Tasmania (15.6%, $1.7b).

  • Mining had the largest share of wages in Western Australia (17.9%, $14.8b), whilst Construction had the largest share of wages in Northern Territory (17.1%, $1.0b).

  • Tasmania had the lowest average wages and salary per person employed at approximately $48,100, whilst Western Australia had the highest average wages and salary per person employed at approximately $64,400.

Note that average wages and salaries have been calculated using wages and salaries for the full financial year 2020-21 and exclude the drawings of working proprietors and partners of unincorporated businesses, whereas Employment is a point in time estimate at June 2021 and includes working proprietors and partners, so the ratio should be used with caution.

Further information

For more information and estimates classified by state and territory refer to Table 6 'States and territories by industry division' in the 'Australian industry by division' data cube.

For information about the method used to derive state and territory estimates, please refer to the Methodology section on Estimation Methodology: State and Territory estimates

Change in treatment of government funding

In 2020-21, the ABS refined the EAS questionnaire to better enable businesses to report income earned from services provided to governments under Service income in alignment with the correct conceptual classification in the System of National Accounts (SNA). This has resulted in this income being included in the published item Sales & services income rather than under Funding from government for operational costs.

This has led to a break in series in 2020-21 for the following items:

  • Sales and service income
  • Funding from government for operational costs (excluding COVID-19 support payments), which appears only in the Industry value added (IVA) tables
  • Funding from government for operational costs (including COVID-19 support payments), which appears only in the Industry performance tables
  • Profit margin ratio, which appears only in the Industry performance tables
  • Sales and service income per person employed ratio, which appears only in the Industry performance tables.

There is no impact on Industry value added (IVA), Operating profit before tax (OPBT) or Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in this release as Sales and service income and Funding from government for operational costs are both already included in all three measures.

Funding from government for operational costs (excl. COVID-19 support payments) declined 54.3% (-$22.7b) for Total selected industries in 2020-21 as a result of this questionnaire change, and this contributed to the 3.0% ($108.0b) increase in Sales and service income. The combined total of the two items rose 2.3% ($85.3b).

The effect of this change was mainly felt in a few industries.

The biggest impact was in Education and training division, with a fall of $14.3b (98.7%) in Funding from government for operational costs (excl. COVID-19 support payments). This was almost entirely offset by a $14.9b (48.0%) rise in Sales and service income. To put this into perspective, the combined total of Sales and service income and Funding from government for operational costs (excl. COVID-19 support payments) rose 1.4% ($610m).

Health care and social assistance division was less affected as income in this industry was already mostly reported under Sales and service income. Funding from government for operational costs (excl. COVID-19 support payments) fell $5.5b (56.5%) while Sales and service income rose $17.5b (12.0%). The combined total of Sales and service income and Funding from government for operational costs (excl. COVID-19 support payments) rose 7.8% ($12.1b), indicating that only part of the growth in Sales and service income was due to this questionnaire change.

Other services division Funding from government for operational costs (excl. COVID-19 support payments) fell 40.3% (-$1.5b) while Sales and service income rose 3.6% ($2.5b). The combined total rose 1.4% ($1.0b).

Earlier changes to Health data

In 2018-19, as part of the Economic Activity Survey (EAS), the ABS collected and published detailed information from Australian businesses/organisations classified to Division Q Health care and social assistance.

Businesses operating in the Health care and social assistance division receive government funding such as the Child Care Subsidy, Medicare Benefits payments, a number of aged care subsidies and supplements, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) payments and grants to pay staff wages and salaries.

The 2018-19 EAS questionnaire for the Health care and social assistance division provided explicit instructions on how businesses should report such government payments. This resulted in improved estimates of Sales and service income, Funding from government for operational costs, Profit margin and Sales and service income per person employed for 2018-19.

This treatment was continued in 2019-20. In 2020-21 the questionnaire change for the whole of the EAS mentioned above ensured the treatment was entrenched in the survey.

Additional content: Transport industry

In 2020-21 the ABS collected detailed information from businesses in the Transport, warehousing, and storage industry division. This analysis highlights some of the results. More detailed estimates can be found in the Data Downloads section.

The additional analysis first shows the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the Australian transport industry in 2020-21, followed by a comparison with the previous Transport Industry Survey results from 2010-11. The rest of the analysis concentrates on the detailed results for 2020-21, including detailed breakdowns of industry, income and expenses.

Setting the scene: 2020-21

The financial year 2020-21 was the first full year impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact on the Transport, postal and warehousing industry was profound.

Australia closed its borders from March 2020 in response to the developing pandemic. This was followed by internal border restrictions implemented by the states and territories. This severely impacted Air and space passenger transport.

Government imposed travel bans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic saw domestic and international air passenger volumes collapse from March 2020. International volumes were almost completely wiped out, with Australian citizens and permanent residents only able to leave the country with an exemption, while strict caps on the number of arrivals remained in place. There were also domestic travel restrictions, which reduced demand for passenger transport services.

Sales and service income for the air transport industry slumped 62.7% ($13.9b) in a single year, the second consecutive year in decline for this industry after a $5.1b fall in 2019-20.

Freight transport received essential service status during the pandemic although changes in government policy, consumer demand, supply issues and permit and vaccination requirements restricted the movement of goods across the transport industry.

The Postal and courier pick-up and delivery services subdivision, unlike air transport, grew 32.4% ($4.5b) in Sales and service income.

The graph below shows the impacts on air transport and postal and courier businesses and illustrates how the pandemic affected passenger and freight services very differently in 2020-21.

Note: Sales and service income estimates are sourced from Australian Industry by subdivision data cube in the Data Downloads section.

Historical comparisons: 2010-11 vs 2020-21

The last time a dedicated Transport survey was run by the ABS was for 2010-11. These results were published in a separate release: Business Transport Activity, Australia, 2010-11. Limited data from both surveys have been published for comparison purposes in Table 1 of the Transport, postal and warehousing data cube.

There were 639,376 people employed in the Transport, postal and warehousing industry division at the end of June 2021, an increase of 12.5% compared to June 2011. The growth in employment was slow compared to income and expenses over the same period.

The Transport, postal and warehousing industry division generated $186.7b Income in 2020-21, an increase of 31.8% from 2010-11. The proportion of this income generated from the provision of Transport, logistics and transport support services remained consistent at 80.9% (80.2% in 2010-11).

Total expenses for the industry increased by 35.3% to $173.8b in 2020-21 compared to 2010-11. The largest components in both 2010-11 and 2020-21 were Other expenses ($77.5b in 2020-21), Labour costs $45.1b, and Freight expenses $32.6b. The average labour costs per employed person increased by 23.0% to $70,600.

Total capital expenditure in the Transport, postal and warehousing industry increased 11.7% to $21.5b in 2020-21. In 2020-21 the proportion of capital expenditure relating to Other transport vehicles and equipment was much lower at 11.4% compared to 27.2% in 2010-11.

The rest of the analysis relates to 2020-21 data only.

Transport, postal and warehousing industry

In June 2021, there were 639,376 people employed in the Transport, postal and warehousing industry division. Almost half (304,224 people or 47.6%) were employed in Road transport, followed by 122,810 people (19.2%) in Transport support services and 97,345 people (15.2%) in Postal and courier pick-up and delivery services respectively. 

Income for the division in 2020-21 was $186.7b and Expenses were $173.8b.

The four largest subdivisions, Road transport, Transport support services, Postal and courier pick-up and delivery services and Rail transport accounted for a combined 84.8% of Income and 83.1% of Expenses.

The largest sources of income for the Transport, postal and warehousing industry division in 2020-21 was $151.0b (80.9% of $186.7b Total income) from Transport, logistics and transport support services, made up of:

  • $94.7b (50.7% of Total income) from Transport services
  • $44.1b (23.6%) from Logistics services
  • $12.2b (6.5%) from Transport support services. 

The largest expenditure items for the division were:

  • $45.1b (26.0% of total expenses) in Labour costs
  • $32.6b (18.8%) in Freight expenses
  • $27.8b (16.0%) in Other expenses
  • $25.4b (14.6%) in Purchases of goods and materials.

Capital expenditure undertaken by the division was $21.5b, comprising:

  • $3.2b (15.1%) capital expenditure on Road vehicles
  • $2.4b (11.4%) on Other transport vehicles and equipment
  • $15.8b (73.6%) Other capital expenditure (including land, dwellings and intangibles).

Road transport

The Road transport subdivision employed 304,224 people at end June 2021, nearly half (47.6%) of total division Employment.

Road freight transport class was the largest in this subdivision, contributing 70% or more of Employment, Income and Expenses.

Road transport businesses reported owning or leasing 244,854 registered road vehicles. At the industry class level, Road freight transport businesses accounted for the majority with 73.1% (179,078) of registered road vehicles, followed by Taxis and other road transport businesses with 14.6% (35,757 vehicles).  

The main sources of income for Road transport subdivision were:

  • $50.0b (71.6% of Total income) for Road freight transport and vehicle towing services
  • $5.2b (7.4%) for Bus and tramway passenger transport services
  • $1.2b (1.8%) for Taxi and ride sharing transport services.

The largest expenses for Road transport were:

  • $18.6b (29.5% of Total expenses) in Labour costs
  • $12.7b (20.1%) in Purchases of goods and materials
  • $10.5b (16.6%) in Freight transport expenses.

For the Road transport industry 67.5% ($3.0b) of Total capital expenditure ($4.4b) related to Transport vehicles and transport equipment. Road freight transport invested the most in this category at $2.5b.

Rail transport

The Rail transport subdivision employed 42,256 people at the end of June 2021, representing 6.6% of Employment for the division. In 2020-21 Income for Rail transport was $19.0b, while Expenses were $17.2b and Capital expenditure was $3.9b. Rail transport businesses reported owning or leasing 2,605 rail vehicles and 7,550 road vehicles.

At the class level, Rail passenger transport dominated most indicators, accounting for 32,351 (76.6%) of Employment, 63.3% ($12.0b) of Income and 67.4% ($11.6b) of Expenses. However, Capital expenditure was evenly split with Rail freight transport accounting for 53.5% ($2.1b).

The main sources of income for this subdivision were:

  • $8.7b (45.5% of Total income) for Rail passenger transport services
  • $5.5b (28.7%) for Rail freight transport services.

The largest expense items for Rail transport were:

  • $6.1b (35.6% of Total expenses) in Labour costs
  • $2.2b (12.6%) in Purchases of goods and materials
  • $1.9b (11.3%) in Depreciation and amortisation.

Transport vehicles and transport equipment accounted for only 21.5% ($841m) of capital expenditure, with most reported in the Other capital expenditure (including land, dwellings and intangibles) category ($3.1b).

Water transport

The Water transport subdivision employed 7,153 people in June 2021, representing 1.1% of total division Employment. Water transport businesses reported owning or leasing 719 watercraft and 966 road vehicles. 

In 2020-21 Water freight transport was the larger of the two classes in financial terms, accounting for 75.4% ($2.1b) of Total income and 62.3% ($1.8b) of Total expenses for the subdivision, but employed only 3,133 people (43.8% of subdivision employment), with Water passenger transport employing 4,020 people (56.2%).

Total income from Water transport subdivision was $2.8b. The main sources of income for Water transport were:

  • $1.3b (45.5% of Total income) for Ocean and inland water freight transport services
  • $648m (23.4%) for Water passenger transport services.

Water transport incurred $3.0b in Expenses. Two of the largest expense items were:

  • $866m (29.2% of Total expenses) in Labour costs
  • $346m (11.7%) in Purchases of goods and materials.

Air and space transport

Air and space transport industry subdivision employed 27,404 people in June 2021, representing 4.3% of total division Employment. 

Air and space transport businesses reported owning or leasing 2,506 registered aircraft and 1,388 road vehicles.

Air and space transport businesses generated total income of $10.3b in 2020-21. This represented a significant decline in income from previous years due to Government imposed travel bans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The main sources of income were:

  • $5.2b (50.8% of total income) for Air passenger transport services
  • $1.7b (16.6%) for Air freight transport services.

Total expenses for the Air and space transport industry amounted to $12.7b. Two of the largest expense items were:

  • $3.4b (27.1% of total expenses) in Labour costs
  • $1.2b (9.8%) in Purchases of fuels used to power aircraft.

Note that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting this industry severely during 2020-21, financial results may not be comparable to previous years.

Other transport

Other transport subdivision employed 13,608 people in June 2021, representing 2.1% of total division Employment. Most (8,246 people or 60.6%) were employed in Scenic and sightseeing transport class.

Other transport generated Income of $5.0b and incurred Expenses of $4.3b in 2020-21.

Pipeline transport class employed the smallest number of people (2,626 people or 19.3% of subdivision Employment) but generated most of the Income (69.5% or $3.5b) and incurred most of the Expenses (67.7% or $2.9b) in the subdivision.

The main source of income was $2.9b for the provision of Pipeline transport services, representing 57.9% of subdivision Income and 83.4% of Income for the Pipeline transport class itself. 

The largest expense items for Other transport were:

  • $985m (22.7% of total expenses) in Depreciation and amortisation
  • $960m (22.1%) in Interest expenses
  • $950m (21.9%) in Labour costs.  

Postal and courier pick-up and delivery services

Businesses classified to the Postal and courier pick-up and delivery services subdivision employed 97,345 people at end of June 2021, representing 15.2% of total division Employment.

Total income generated by this subdivision was $19.1b in 2020-21 and was evenly split across the two classes with 51.3% ($9.8b) from Courier pick-up and delivery services and 48.7% ($9.3b) from Postal services.

Two of the main sources of this income were:

  • $12.5b (65.5% of Total income) from Postal and courier pick-up and delivery services
  • $2.0b (10.3%) from Sales of goods.

Postal and courier pick-up and delivery services incurred $17.5b in total expenses. The main expense items were:

  • $4.7b (26.9% of Total expenses) in Labour costs
  • $3.8b (21.9%) in Freight and passenger transport expenses
  • $3.3b (18.9%) in Purchases of goods and materials.

Transport support services

The Transport support services subdivision employed 122,810 people at end of June 2021, representing 19.2% of total division Employment and making it the second largest employing subdivision in the Transport, postal and warehousing industry division after Road transport.

The Transport support services industry generated $50.3b Income and incurred $46.6b in Expenses in 2020-21.

The two largest classes in the subdivision combined, Freight forwarding services and Other transport support services n.e.c., accounted for over half the Employment, Income and Expenses.

The main sources of income for Transport support services were:

  • $17.0b (33.8% of Total income) for Freight forwarding services
  • $4.3b (8.6%) for Support services for road transport
  • $4.0b (8.0%) for Stevedoring and port handling services.

The main expense items were:

  • $11.5b (24.7% of Total expenses) in Freight transport expenses 
  • $8.4b (18.0%) in Labour costs
  • $7.9b (16.9%) in Depreciation and amortisation.

The Transport support services was the most capital intensive subdivision in the Transport, postal and warehousing division, reporting $9.4b of Capital expenditure.

Warehousing and storage services

The Warehousing and storage services subdivision employed 24,576 people at end of June 2021, representing 3.8% of total division Employment.

Other warehousing and storage services class accounted for 19,283 (78.5%) of Employment, 65.5% ($6.7b) of Income and 64.2% ($6.0b) of Expenses incurred for the subdivision, with the remainder coming from Grain storage services.

Total income for the subdivision was $10.2b in 2020-21. The largest income item was $4.2b (41.1%) for the provision of Warehousing and storage.

This subdivision incurred $9.3b in Expenses in 2020-21. The main expense items were:

  • $2.0b (21.7% of Total expenses) in Labour costs
  • $1.9b (20.4%) in Other expenses
  • $1.8b (19.5%) in Freight transport expenses.

Data downloads

Australian industry by division

Australian industry by subdivision

Manufacturing industry

Off-June year adjusted estimates by industry subdivision

Mining industry

Experimental estimates for auxiliary finance and insurance services

State and territory by business size

Employment, Wages and salaries and Sales and service income by State and territory and Business size. There is no industry breakdown in this data cube.

Transport, postal and warehousing industry

Detailed 2020-21 estimates for the Transport, postal and warehousing industry

All data cubes

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 8155.0.

Post release changes

22/06/2022 - As advertised in the main release of this publication on 27 May 2022, this additional information release contains the Transport Excel datacube and analysis.