Go to top of page

Our vision

Supporting economic growth and job creation for all Australians.

Performance criteria and results

Several aspects of Australia’s economy are relevant to the department’s vision—economic growth, productivity and job creation. Table 1 shows how these aspects of the economy are performing against performance criteria set out in the former Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s Corporate Plan 2019–20, page 4. It provides an overview of the economic conditions in which we operated in 2019–20.

Table 1: Vision: Supporting economic growth and job creation for all Australians

Table 1: Vision: Supporting economic growth and job creation for all Australians

Aspect of Australian economy relevant to the department’s vision

Performance criterion

Trend and analysis

Economic growth

Growth in gross domestic product (GDP)

The Australian economy contracted by an unprecedented 7.0% in the June quarter 2020, the largest fall in GDP since quarterly measurement began in 1959. Between June 2019 and June 2020, GDP declined by 6.3%.1 The outcome confirmed Australia’s first technical recession (two consecutive quarters of negative growth) since 1991, reflecting the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and policy responses to manage the impacts of the virus.

Growth in gross value added by industry

In the June quarter 2020, most industry groups recorded falls in gross value added, reflecting virus containment measures impacting on economic activity. The largest falls during the quarter were in services: Accommodation and food services (down 39.0%), Arts and recreation services (down 22.6%) and Transport, postal and warehousing (down 21.5%). Only four industries recorded small growth during the quarter. These were Mining (up 0.2%), Financial and insurance services (up 0.7%), Public administration and safety (up 0.9%) and Education and training (up 0.4%).2

Productivity

Growth in labour productivity

Labour productivity decreased by 0.2% in 2018–19, in line with a broader declining trend. Productivity growth is best viewed over longer periods of productivity growth cycles. Annual labour productivity growth during the last productivity growth cycle — between 2011–12 and 2018–19 — was 1.4%, which was lower compared with previous growth cycles during the 1990s and early 2000s.3, 4

Growth in multifactor productivity

Multifactor productivity (MFP) declined by 0.4% in 2018–19, and was 0.5% in the last productivity growth cycle between 2011–12 and
2018–19. MFP growth has been slowing down in Australia and other advanced economies since the early 2000s.3, 4

Job creation

Growth in employment

The Australian labour market faced a significant shock from the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures imposed to contain the impacts of the virus. In June 2020, employment increased by 228 400 people, which was due to an increase of part-time workers (252 000 people) and a fall in full-time employment (23 600). Total employment was below pre-COVID-19 levels in June 2020, with 504 700 fewer people employed compared with June 2019.5

Growth in total hours worked

The COVID-19 pandemic saw hours worked fall by 9.5% between March and April 2020 — the largest fall in recorded history. Between May and June, hours worked began to recover, increasing by 4.2% in June. Since the low point in May, total hours worked increased by 66 million hours. However, hours worked in June were still 6.7% lower than March and did not capture the escalation of cases in Victoria and the associated Stage 4 lock down measures.6

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, June 2020, cat. no. 5206.0, table 2, seasonally adjusted.
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, June 2020, cat. no. 5206.0, table 6, seasonally adjusted.
  3. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Estimates of Industry Multifactor Productivity, 201819, cat. no. 5260.0.55.002, tables 1 and 5.
  4. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011–12 to 2018–19 is an incomplete productivity cycle.
  5. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Labour Force, Australia, June 2020, cat. no. 6202.0, table 1, seasonally adjusted.
  6. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Labour Force, Australia, June 2020, cat. no. 6202.0, table 19, seasonally adjusted.