Victoria Supports Dominance in Manufacturing Labour Force

True to its former motto, Victoria is the place to be for manufacturing jobs, adding over 10,000 in March according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS.)

The total number of jobs added around Australia rose by 20,700 or 2.4% nationally. The lion’s share went to Victorian manufacturing.

Over the past four years, over 461,000 people have found work in Victoria, with 70% of them being full time positions.

Speaking to Manufacturer’s Monthly, Acting Minister for Jobs, Innovation, and Trade Martin Foley MP said Victoria supports over 271,000 manufacturing positions.

“In Victoria we employ more people in manufacturing than any other state and we have provided over $170 million to support the state’s manufacturing industry since December 2014 – creating more than 7,000 jobs and generating over $1.8 billion in private investment.”

Victoria is bucking the steady trend in unemployment, which stays at a favourable 5% in March. The workforce participation rate also remained the same at 65.6%.

Contrasted to the AiGroup’s Performance Manufacturing Index (PMI), the employment rate in manufacturing has eased by 1.1% to 56 points (with 50 being the break-even point between expansion and contraction.) The Wage Price Index also improved by a 1.7% margin in real terms according to the PMI.

The PMI fell from 54 in February to 51 in March. The blame for the slump hangs on a downturn in the housing market, uncertainty around the upcoming Federal Election, and the ongoing impact of the Eastern seaboard drought.

Despite some weak numbers, It would seem manufacturing jobs are up for grabs, as the ABS estimates over 12,200 jobs were vacant in February. The flow-on from the Victorian jobs numbers won’t be known until the next ABS release on jobs numbers in July.

According to the Labour Market Information Portal, Australia supports over 918,200 manufacturing jobs.

Adding to jobs growth is recycling manufacturer Visy, opening its new $100 million corrugated packaging facility in Truganina, Victoria earlier this month.
20% of Visy’s manufacturing labour force is employed in Victoria.

According to Victoria’s Live In Melbourne portal, 17,085 people are employed as metal fabricators; 18,752 as metal machinists; 1,976 as sheet metal trades; and approximately 17,000 as first-class welders.