Key industry sectors

Hobart is the economic engine of the state, attracting many people into the city to work. It operates as a regional service centre with a high proportion of employment in the following industry sectors:

  • health care and social assistance – 9327 employees
  • public administration and safety – 7983 employees
  • education and training – 5392 employees
  • accommodation and food services – 4551 employees 
  • retail trade – 4520 employees
  • professional, scientific and technical services – 4084 employees.

Health care and social assistance has seen a notable increase in employment levels of 24.8% which overtook public administration and safety as the top employer. Employment in public administration and safety has dropped by 13.8% in the city.

The relative share of employment in Hobart in comparison to the total employment in the state of Tasmania is highlighted in the two charts below.

All employment data is sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census 2016.  

 Employment by Industry for Hobart and Tasmania bar chart. The first number for each category is Tasmania and the second is Hobart. Other services = 8,085 and 1,823. Arts and recreation services = 4,021 and 1,125. Health care and social assistance = 30,633 and 9,327. Education and training = 20,016 and 5,392. Public Administration and safety = 16,851 and 7,893. Administrative and support services = 6,384 and 1,111. Professional, scientific and technical services = 10,142 and 4,084. Rental, hiring and real estate services = 2,668 and 640. Financial and insurance services = 4,520 and 2,058. Information media and telecommunications = 2,909 and 1,440. Transport, postal and warehousing = 9,080 and 532. Accommodation and food services = 16,488 and 4,551. Retail trade = 23,564 and 4,520. Wholesale trade = 4,797 and 614. Construction = 16,330 and 1,654. Electricity, gas, water and waste services = 3,493 and 1,020. Manufacturing = 14,804 and 746. Mining = 1,882 and 29. Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing = 11,390 and 405.


 Percentage of State Employment in Hobart LGA by Industry. Other services = 22.5%. Arts and recreation services = 28%. Health care and social assistance = 30.4%. Education and training = 26.9%. Public Administration and safety = 47.4%. Administrative and support services = 17.4%. Professional, scientific and technical services = 40.3%. Rental, hiring and real estate services = 24%. Financial and insurance services = 45.5%. Information media and telecommunications = 49.5%. Transport, postal and warehousing = 5.9%. Accommodation and food services = 27.6%. Retail trade = 19.2%. Wholesale trade = 12.8%. Construction = 10.1%. Electricity, gas, water and waste services = 29.2%. Manufacturing = 5%. Mining = 1.5%. Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing = 3.6%.

Health care and social assistance

As the largest employment sector in the city, it attracts a significant workforce to the city. Adding to the economic activity are the many thousands of patients and visitors, and medical specialists at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

Employment in the health care and social assistance sector accounts for around 18.6% of Hobart's workforce. Given Tasmania’s ageing population, a growth area within this sector is aged care.

Public administration and safety

As a capital city and the seat of the state government, public administration and safety is a significant employer comprising around 15.9% of Hobart's workforce. The Parliament, ministry offices and head offices of most state government agencies are located in Hobart, mostly in the city centre. In addition, the Commonwealth Government has a number of administrative teams based in Hobart. Local government employment numbers are also included in this sector.

Education and training

Hobart hosts much of the state’s tertiary sector and is the main destination for international students in Tasmania. There are 30 education providers in Hobart including primary, secondary and senior secondary schools; TasTAFE; and one of Australia's oldest and most respected universities: the University of Tasmania. The education and training sector is Hobart's third largest sector by employment.

Accommodation and Food Services

This sector has seen the biggest growth of the top employing industries. Since 2011, employment levels have risen by 26.4% which is in line with increased visitation to the city and the state. Visitation to Hobart has increased by 19.6% since 2013, not including cruise ship visitors which have risen by 76.3% between 2013 and 2018 with 180,426 passengers anticipated for the 2017/18 season.

Retail trade

Hobart comprises approximately 10% of the state population but nearly 20% of the total retail employment. The city accommodates around 100,000 people on any given day, in residents, visitors and workers and many of them shop. Retail trade is Hobart's fifth largest sector by employment and has grown by 9% since 2011.

Professional, scientific and technical services

This sector is the sixth largest in Hobart, accounting for around 8.1% of employment. There are a number of large employers breaking new ground in Antarctic and health research such as CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research organisation) the Menzies Institute and the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies.