Here are the safest and riskiest jobs in Australia’s turbulent economy

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It’s hard to work out which parts of the economy will emerge triumphant from a system where mining investment is shrinking, households are holding on to any extra money they get and business confidence is so shattered that spending on capital goods, such as new machinery, is at a low.

And technology is disrupting so many industries without warning that you’re just as likely to get a good job in what looks like a healthy industry when along comes an upstart and changes everything.

IBISWorld, the Australian industry analysts, have investigated the future as it relates to jobs and created lists of what look like the riskiest and safest industries.

Here are the riskiest industries for job security:


IBISWorld senior industry analyst Lauren Magner says electricity and fossil fuels are exposed to shifts in demand and government intervention.

“Demand for centrally generated electricity has fallen over the past five years, as households and businesses have increasingly invested in energy-efficient appliances and solar panels to reduce their reliance on the grid,” Magner says.

“Structural changes in Australia have also resulted in a shift away from manufacturing towards less energy-intensive service-based industries. This includes the closure of major operations in energy-intensive industries, such as petroleum refining and aluminium smelting.”

And here’s the list of the safest industry for jobs:


IBISWorld says the big factor to consider is the effect of Australia’s ageing population. Magner says:

“The increase in the number of baby boomers moving out of the workforce is significantly affecting the risk of a number of industries. The trailers and caravan dealers industry is an example of an industry facing a period of relatively low risk, with the industry in the growth phase of its life cycle as a result of demand from travelling and comparatively wealthy retirees.”

Hospitals, health insurance and health care in general all benefit from an older population.

Part of that older population trend is the massive and growing $1.8 trillion superannuation industry which benefits from generous tax breaks. Around this, custody, trustee and stock brokers also benefited.

“This has led to a rising number of stock market trades and increases in advisory services,” Magner says. “An ageing population has fueled increasing inflows to this industry through people seeking to increase their retirement income.”

Other stable industries include waste remediation and materials recovery services, veterinary services, payroll and other office administrative services, casinos, poultry processing, and crisis and care accommodation.

They all have something in common: relatively low revenue volatility, a low level of international trade and medium levels of competition.

“Rising household disposable income and continued population growth are combining to contribute to steady demand in these largely stable industries,” says Magner.