CHART: In Terms Of Hours Worked, The Retail Sector Returns The Least Value In The Australian Economy

Australian retail salesGetty / File

Australia’s retail trade, accommodation and food services, and arts and recreation sectors contribute relatively little to Australia’s GDP, relative to the time and people those businesses involve.

A table in today’s Productivity Commission report on the manufacturing productivity shows how the retail trade contributed only 7.5% of value to the market sectors studied in 2010-11, but consumed 15.4% of hours worked in the country:

The commission reported that manufacturing contributed 13.4% of market sector value added that year, or 8.3% when looking at the Australian economy as a whole – the third largest share after financial and insurance services and mining.

It found that the “real value” of Australian manufacturing had grown in the long-term, “despite misleading popular perceptions”, but its share of value added to the economy had declined.

The Productivity Commission found that manufacturing productivity had tumbled in the past decade for a range of reasons including consumer preferences for more labour-intensive bakeries; a lag between capital investment and output; new standards and regulations; and a high AUD and tough conditions.

Now read: Australian Manufacturing Has Tumbled Back Into Contraction

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