Construction Industry Report

8 July 2013

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the Private Sector Construction Industry Report for the 2011–2012 financial year. Here are the key findings. 

The Private Sector Construction Industry Report report estimates the economic and financial performance of businesses involved in the construction industry for the 2011–2012 financial year. It provides detailed measures of the performance, structure and activity of businesses and includes the composition of income earned, details of expenses incurred and the characteristics of the workforce. Figures are presented for the construction industry as a whole, so it is not possible to glean specific knowledge about architecture as an industry. Nonetheless the report provides an interesting overview of the wider industry within which ACA members operate.

Following are key findings for the period:

  • At the end of June 2012, there were 209,783 businesses in the construction industry – 172,697 businesses working in construction services, 31,297 in building construction and 5,789 in heavy and civil engineering.  
  • The construction industry generated a total income of $305.5 billion, incurred $275.4 billion in total expenses and employed 950,000 persons. The total industry value added by these businesses was $99.4 billion. Operating profit before tax (OPBT) for these businesses was $30.3 billion and operating profit margin (OPM) was 10.1%.   
  • At the end of June 2012, there were 950,000 persons working in construction. Two-thirds (67.0% or 636,000) worked for construction services, 16.8% (or 160,000) in building construction and 16.2% (or 154,000) in heavy and civil engineering.  
  • Main occupations were tradespeople with 33.1% (or 314,000) and labourers with 20.4% (or 194,000).
  • Small businesses (employment range of 0–19) employed the majority of persons with 62.1% (or 590,000), followed by medium-size businesses (employment range of 20–199) with 19.3% (or 183,000) and large-size businesses (employment range of 200 or more people) with 18.6% (or 177,000).
  • Businesses in the industry generated a total income of $305.5 billion. Construction services accounted for 44.5% (or $135.9 billion) of the total income, building construction for 33.2% (or $101.6 billion) and heavy and civil engineering for 22.3% (or $68.0 billion).
  • The major source of income (76.3% or $233.2 billion) was from trade services, building and construction, followed by sales of goods and other services (22.1% or $67.5 billion).
  • Small businesses (employment range 0–19) accounted for 97.7% (or 204,949) of all businesses and the largest share of total income with 49.0% (or $149.8 billion). Large construction businesses (employment range of 200 or more) accounted for 0.1% (or 186) of all businesses and generated just over a quarter of total income (27.3% or $83.5 billion).
  • Queensland and New South Wales recorded the greatest share of income from the sale of goods and services, each with 24.1% (or $72.6 billion). Comparatively, these states' population shares were 20.1% and 32.1% respectively. Although Western Australia's share of the population was 10.7%, they accounted for 18.3% (or $55.2 billion) of income from sales of goods and services.
  • Western Australia's average salary was $76,600, followed by Queensland ($59,200), Victoria ($51,900) and Northern Territory ($51,600).
  • The share of wages and salaries to total operating expenses varied across states, with Western Australia recording the highest level (22.6%). The lowest share of wages and salaries to total operating expenses were in South Australia (15.3%) and the Australian Capital Territory (13.3%)

The full Private Sector Construction Industry Report is complemented by an online summary of findings. 

This item was first published in ACA Communique, July 2013.

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