Labour market

This page shows how the Northern Territory's labour market compares to other states and territories, as well as national averages.

Unemployment rate

Trend data, percentage (%)Jan 20Dec 20Jan 21Monthly change pptAnnual change ppt
NSW 4.56.46.0-0.31.5
VIC 5.36.56.3-0.21.0
QLD 6.27.57.0-0.50.8
SA 5.76.47.10.71.4
WA 5.76.26.2-0.10.5
TAS 5.87.05.9-1.10.1
ACT2.93.74.40.71.5
NT5.05.45.60.20.6
Australia5.36.66.4-0.21.1

Source: ABS Cat No 6202.0

Unemployment rate range, minimum / maximum and current value

Unemployment rate - monthly data: Since 2000, the minimum monthly change in the Northern Territory unemployment rate has been 2 per cent and the maximum 8.5 per cent; typically the unemployment rate ranges between 3.1 per cent and 5.9 per cent. In January 2021, the unemployment rate increased to 5.6 per cent.Unemployment rate - monthly data chart: Between 2015 and 2021 the female unemployment rate decreased faster than the male unemployment rate, and still remains lower than the male unemployment rate.

Participation rate

Trend data, percentage (%)Jan 20Dec 20Jan 21 Monthly change ppt Annual change ppt
Northern Territory 73.9 72.4 73.41.0-0.5
Australia 66.1 66.266.1-0.10.1

Source: ABS Cat No 6202.0

Total persons employed

Trend data, 000sJan 20Dec 20Jan 21 Monthly change % Annual change %
Northern Territory 132,271 129,173 130,6231.1-1.2
Total full-time  103,82097,234101,5234.4-2.2
Total part-time  28,45131,93929,100-8.92.3

Source: ABS Cat No 6202.0

Employment growth range, minimum / maximum and current value

Employment growth - monthly data: Since 2000, the minimum monthly change in Northern Territory employment has been -5.3 per cent and the maximum 5.6 per cent; typically employment growth ranges between -1.9 per cent and 1.9 per cent. In January 2021, monthly employment rate increased to 1.1 per cent.Employment growth - YoY data: Over the past two years, part time employment has been the main driver of total employment growth in the Northern Territory.

Aggregate monthly hours worked

Trend data, 000s hrsJan 20Dec 20Jan 21 Monthly change % Annual change %
Northern Territory 19,52218,803 18,033-4.1-7.6
Australia 1,767,512 1,753,191 1,667,180-4.9-5.7

Source: ABS Cat No 6202.0

Labour underutilisation

Trend dataJan 19Dec 20Jan 21Monthly change ppt Annual change ppt
Northern Territory      
Underemployed workers (000's)​ 7.98.79.610.120.9
Underemployment rate (%)​ 5.76.46.90.61.2
Labour force underutilisation rate (%)​ 10.711.812.60.81.9
Australia​    
Underemployed workers (000's)​ 1,174.8 1,181.1 1,125.7-4.7-4.2
Underemployment rate (%)​ 8.68.58.1-0.4-0.4
​Labour force underutilisation rate (%)​ 13.815.114.5-0.60.7

Source: ABS Cat No 6202.0

Employment by sector

Annual moving average as at November 2020
Industry sector, original data, numbers
Full-timePart-timeTotal % of total employed
Agriculture, forestry and fishing  1,8374892,3261.8
Mining  2,63802,6382.0
Manufacturing  3,187444 3,631 2.8
Electricity, gas, water and waste services  1,7611531,9141.5
Construction  8,7761,304 10,0807.7
Wholesale trade  1,5562741,8301.4
Retail trade  7,235 4,494 11,7299.0
Accommodation and food services  3,2933,7407,0335.4
Transport, postal and warehousing  4,3751,1125,487 4.2
Information media and telecommunications  1,159445 1,604 1.2
Financial and insurance services  1,185271 1,456 1.1
Rental, hiring and real estate services  1,8622612,123 1.6
Professional, scientific and technical services  6,316 1,1597,4755.7
Administrative and support services  2,221 1,9424,1633.2
Public administration and safety  20,596 2,561 23,15717.7
Education and training  9,6373,996 13,63410.4
Health care and social assistance  15,6106,14821,75916.6
Arts and recreation services  1,8099372,7462.1
Other services  5,070 1,1666,2364.8

Caution: can be volatile due to the small sample size from which NT data is derived
Source: ABS Cat No 6291.0.55.003

Job vacancies

Northern Territory, original data, numbers (000s)Nov 19Aug 20Nov 20 Previous qtr % change Annual % change
Total vacancies 3.54.24.20.0-16.7
Public sector 0.5 0.6 0.833.317.4
Private sector 3.03.63.5-2.8-21.6

Source: ABS Cat No 6354.0

Average annual salary by selected occupation

Occupation, value ($000s) 2020/21 salary range
Information technology  
Team leader 66-87
End user support (L2) 56-71
Office support  
Office manager 66-87
Administration assistant (6 - 12 months experience) 45-56
Resources and mining  
Senior mine geologist128-179
Boiler maker / welder 97-122
Mining engineer 117-163
Mine surveyor 117-148
Construction (building)  
Project manager 112-163
Foreperson 71-112
Leading hand 66-87
Energy  
Power systems engineer 97-143
Solar engineer 107-128
Insurance  
Assessing manager69-84
Team leader (claims) 80-102
Accounting and finance  
Finance director / chief financial officer 192-112
Financial accountant 1 77-97
Internal auditor 66-82
Senior bookkeeper 61-71

1 Business turnover up to $100 million
Source: 2020-21 Hays Salary Guide

Average weekly earnings

Original data, value ($)
Full time adult total earnings
Nov 19May 20Nov 20 Previous qtr % change Annual % change
Northern Territory  1,773 1,786 1,777-0.50.2
Males 1,9061,9111,9140.10.4
Females 1,609 1,645 1,626-1.11.1
Australia 1,720 1,771 1,767-0.22.7
Males 1,839 1,893 1,883-0.52.4
Females 1,529 1,578 1,5820.33.5

Source: ABS Cat No 6302

Median wage and salary income

Value ($)2017-18
Northern Territory 60,636
Darwin City 63,218
Darwin suburbs 60,712
Litchfield 64,330
Palmerston 66,804
Alice Springs 56,067
Barkly 52,788
Daly, Tiwi, West Arnhem 42,446
East Arnhem 57,911
Katherine 54,776

Source: ABS Cat No 6524.0.55.002

Last updated: 12 March 2021

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