Is the mining industry the largest Indigenous employer? > Check the facts

Is the mining industry the largest Indigenous employer? > Check the facts

Who:“We are now the largest Indigenous employer in Australia” Mitch Hooke, Chief Executive of the Minerals Council of Australia.

The claim: The mining industry is the biggest employer of Indigenous Australians.

The facts: Data for Indigenous employment by industry from the 2011 census shows the mining industry employed four per cent of the Indigenous workforce. Out of the 19 industries that are classified by the ABS the mining industry ranks tenth as an employer of Indigenous Australians.

Discussion of evidence: Nine industries employ more Indigenous people than the mining industry (see Table below). Health Care and Social Assistance is the largest Indigenous employer, with 21, 502 employees, followed by Public Administration and Safety (18,729). The top five industries account for the majority of Indigenous employment. In contrast, Mining (5,433) employs approximately a quarter of the number of Indigenous employees as the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.

Rank

Industry

Number of Indigenous employees

Percentage of Indigenous workforce

1

Health Care and Social Assistance

21502

15%

2

Public Administration and Safety

18729

13%

3

Education and Training

13180

9%

4

Retail Trade

12092

8%

5

Construction

11750

8%

6

Accommodation and Food Services

9863

7%

7

Manufacturing

9523

6%

8

Other Services

7473

5%

9

Transport, Postal and Warehousing

6395

4%

10

Mining

5433

4%

11

Administrative and Support Services

5280

4%

12

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

3983

3%

13

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

3633

2%

14

Wholesale Trade

3311

2%

15

Arts and Recreation Services

2938

2%

16

Financial and Insurance Services

1937

1%

17

Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services

1653

1%

18

Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services

1406

1%

19

Information Media and Telecommunications

1301

1%

 

Although the mining industry is not the largest employer of Indigenous workers, as a proportion of the mining industry’s total workforce (2.2 per cent of the Australian Labour Force) it does employ more Indigenous people than other industries. 3.1 per cent of the mining industry’s workforce is Indigenous, compared to an average of 2.5 per cent.

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