ACT economy on track
Consolidating steady and sustainable growth
The ACT’s economy is strong, growing and increasingly diverse.
Our economic growth has been among the fastest in Australia for the past four years, which has supported the creation of over 3,200 new businesses and more than 16,000 jobs.
Major employing industries
Number of workers
Public administration and safety
Professional, scientific and technical services
Health care and social assistance
Education and training
Accommodation and food services
ABS Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003, February 2019 – The highest number of employment.
Our unemployment rate is consistently one of the lowest in the country, even as our community has been growing by around 8,000 people a year.
The ACT’s $40 billion economy is significantly larger than that of Tasmania or the Northern Territory. We have become Australia’s per capita leader on services exports thanks to the strength of our higher education, tourism and professional services sectors.
The Australian Public Service is an important part of the ACT’s economic base, but it is only one part.
Our economy has become more diverse over time through the growth of private sector businesses in knowledge industries like research and innovation, defence, space and cyber, healthcare, IT and professional services. Today, more than 62 per cent of Canberrans now work outside the public sector.
In becoming more diverse, our economy has also become more resilient. This means we are well-placed to respond to the challenges that lie ahead, like the Coalition Government’s further $1.5 billion worth of public service cuts and their plans to move even more public servants out of Canberra.
Our economy has kept growing and creating more good jobs through the last six years of Coalition Government because we have been building on Canberra’s strengths as an educated, innovative and entrepreneurial community. We have also been rolling out the largest public infrastructure investment program since self-government, growing more good jobs for working people.
The ACT Government will continue working to strengthen and diversify our local economy in the years to come. The 2019-20 ACT Budget forecasts continued steady growth, consolidating the rapid economic expansion of the past few years in a sustainable way.
Ongoing population growth, a strong pipeline of private and public sector investment and continuing demand for the ACT’s education and tourism exports are all expected to keep making a positive contribution to our economy. Canberrans will see the benefits in ongoing strong employment and more new opportunities for local businesses.
Table 1: 2019-20 ACT Budget economic forecasts
Gross State Product1
State Final Demand1,2
Wage Price Index3,4
Consumer Price Index3
Gross Domestic Product1,2,5
Sources: ABS Cat. No. 5220.0, 5206.0, 6202.0, 6345.0, 6401.0 and 3101.0; Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate; 2019-20 Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook.
Notes: Forecasts and projections are rounded to a ¼ of a percentage point, reflecting an appropriate level of accuracy in forecasting economic parameters. Projections are based on long-run trend assumptions. Numbers in brackets for ACT parameters represent the change from the 2018-19 Budget Review.
- Real values.
- Year average basis.
- Through the year basis.
- Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses.
- These are the 2019-20 Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook forecasts, which are identical to the 2019-20 Commonwealth Budget forecasts. Comparisons are to the Commonwealth’s 2018-19 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.