Home | News | Aged care, nurse workforces grew the most this quarter
Demand for aged care workers and registered nurses will continue to rise.

Aged care, nurse workforces grew the most this quarter

The labour market update for 2023's September quarter found employment grew the most in the aged and disabled carer, registered nurse and child carer workforces in the year to June 2023.

The Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) report recognised these top three jobs as caring services, which it says "underscores the continued need for the range of skills required to provide affordable, efficient and equitable access to care."

Employment across the board grew over the year, with women showing particularly strong growth in full-time work, recording a 6 per cent rise, more than double men's 2.7 per cent rise.

According to the JSA, 80 per cent of aged care and disabled workers and 89 per cent of registered nurses are women, but only 32 per cent (aged care and disabled) and 49 per cent (registered nurses) of those workforces work full-time hours (at least 35 hours off all occupations combined).

The entire health care and social assistance industry saw the largest growth in employment, rising 5.9% over the year to June 2023, recruiting 119,000 people to meet its 2.1 million strong workforce.

This industry has experienced 11 consecutive quarters of employment growth, with the 'social assistance services' sub-industry as a driving force, followed by strong increases in the 'medical and other health care services' and 'hospitals' sub-industries.

These rises could be a response to the demand created by the backlog of patients waiting for elective surgery after the Covid-19 pandemic, which the Australian Medical Association (AMA) says added to a backlog that already existed before the lockdowns.

Healthcare spending could be another driver of industry growth, as a 2022-23 federal budget paper states 16.8 per cent of the Australian Government's total spending went to the healthcare workforces following the pandemic and as an ongoing strategy to support Australia's ageing population.

The workforce is expected to continue to grow as outlined in the 2021 National Skills Commission Care Workforce Labour Market Study, which states by 2050, total demand for the aged care and disability support workforce will be double today's, estimated to be 425,000 up from 225,000 in 2020.

JSA also expect aged care workers and registered nurses workforce to rise significantly, jumping to 341,800 and 331,200 respectively by 2026.

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