On this page

NSW Investment Concierge team

The skill, size and diversity to help you succeed

New South Wales has a diverse workforce including technology specialists, researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs developing cutting edge innovation.

With so many people attracted to NSW every year by the robust economy and desirable lifestyle, the size of the state’s workforce is increasing. The number of adult workers living and working in NSW is set to increase by 8.4% by May 2022, compared to projected national growth of 7.8%. That means the pool of talented workers will grow with your business.

Size isn’t the only advantage NSW has to offer.

The NSW Workforce is diverse, experienced and educated

69% NSW workers hold post-school qualifications38% Sydney's workforce holds university qualifications24% NSW's workforce is qualified in STEM10% of the NSW workforce has a health qualification4% of the NSW population has an agricultural qualification454,000 government-funded vocational education and training (VET) students in 2016

Diversity

More people migrating to Australia choose to call NSW home than any other state.

Over 40% of Sydney residents were born overseas and more than 30% speak a language other than English at home. (Over 275 languages are spoken in NSW).

The state also attracts more skilled labour than any other Australian city through its well regarded skilled immigration scheme.

Experienced

More than two-thirds of NSW workers hold a bachelor’s degree. The average age of the workforce is 40 years old.

Educated

NSW is characterised by a highly skilled workforce with 71% of all residents working in a white collar position. This is expected to increase to 74% by 2027-28.This reflects the growing high value add businesses that are coming to New South Wales.

The state also boasts nearly half of Australia’s top Times-ranked universities and more public universities (11) than any other Australian state. TAFE NSW is the leading provider of vocational education and training (VET) in Australia, with strong business and industry partnerships and more than 500,000 enrolled students.

The NSW workforce at a glance

Lab work

Quick facts: workforce and students in Sydney and NSW

  • Among the 43 of universities in Australia, NSW is home to the highest number of them, with 11 in the state including University of Sydney, Australia’s oldest university, established in 1850
  • There are six Sydney-based universities – two of which are members of the Group of Eight, a coalition of the eight world-leading, research intensive Australian universities
  • Universities and tertiary institutions in regional NSW are also prevalent with 5 universities and 130 campuses of the state’s vocational training tertiary institution (known as TAFE) spread throughout the state

A strong working age population in NSW

Sydney has a higher proportion of residents aged between 20 – 34 than Australia generally, representing a younger demographic who are working age. This represents a strong future for the city in terms of potential employees.

Regional NSW has a high proportion of younger individuals aged 5 – 19 than Australia more generally. This represents a strong future pipeline of employees in the wider state.

Fast population growth will only grow the workforce in NSW

Sydney offers one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, with an expected growth rate of 2% over the next two years, while Australia is expected to increase by 1.5% over the same time period.

Forecasts by Deloitte Access Economics show that population in NSW will grow from 7.9 million in 2017-18 residents to just over 9.0 million by 2027-28.

This growing population offers businesses that choose to locate in NSW both a growing local workforce and a sizeable market opportunity.