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:

  • public administration and safety – 9082 employees
  • health care and social assistance – 7472 employees
  • education and training – 4576 employees
  • retail trade – 4145 employees
  • professional, scientific and technical services – 4083 employees.

The relative share of employment in Hobart and the role of Hobart within the wider region is highlighted below.

Note: the data is sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics census that occurs every five years. The results from the 2016 census are due for release in the second half of this year.   


This image contains a graph, listing the perscentage of employment by industry, for Tasmania as a whole, the Hobart local government area, and the greater hobart area. For more information about the information contained in this graph, you can contact us on 03 6238 2401

Public administration and safety

As a capital city and the seat of the state government, public administration and safety is the largest industry sector by employment, comprising around 20% 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[1].

Health care and social assistance

This second largest employment sector 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 16% of Hobart's workforce[2]. Given Tasmania’s ageing population, a growth area within this sector is aged care.

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[3].

Retail trade

Hobart comprises approximately 25% of the greater Hobart population, but over 40% 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 fourth largest sector by employment[4].

Professional, scientific and technical services

This sector is the fifth largest in Hobart, accounting for around 8% 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) and the Menzies Institute.


Visitor numbers to Tasmania have been growing steadily. Just over 1.24 million people visited Tasmania on scheduled air and sea services during the year ending December 2016, up 7% on the year before[5], and a further 163,000 people arrived on cruise ships. Jobs in this sector are also growing, with direct and in-direct jobs in 2013–14 at 32,200, rising to 36,700 in 2014–15.[6]

[1] ABS 2011 Census of Population and Housing: Working Population Profile (Hobart LGA).  Catalogue Number 2006.0. Table W12.

[2] ABS 2011 Census of Population and Housing: Working Population Profile (Hobart LGA).  Catalogue Number 2006.0. Table W12.

[3] ABS 2006 Census of Population and Housing.

[4] ABS 2006 Census of Population and Housing.