Strong growth in aged and disability care revealed in census
12 October 2022 at 10:11 am
Workers in aged and disability care, occupational therapy, audiology, speech pathology and mental health have increased over the past five years.
The number of people working in aged and disability care has grown by more than 70 per cent in five years.
That’s according to the latest tranche of results released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) from the 2021 Census.
More than 1.7 million people work in the health care and social assistance industry, according to the latest stats.
Thirty per cent of those are working in hospitals.
Aged and disability care experienced the strongest growth with employment up by 72 per cent since 2016.
The number of occupational therapists increased to 19,429, up by 57 per cent, and audiologists and speech pathologists increased to 13,613 in 2021, up by 49 per cent.
There has also been an increase in the number of people working in mental health, with both psychologists and psychiatrists increasing over 40 per cent since the last Census in 2016.
Australian statistician Dr David Gruen AO said the data showed that over 40 per cent of registered nurses and aged and disabled carers were born overseas.
“A 40 per cent share born overseas is significantly higher than the average across all occupations of 32 per cent born overseas,” Gruen added.
While females make up the majority of people employed as aged and disabled carers (77 per cent), and the share of males working in these roles has increased slightly since 2016, to 23 per cent from 20 per cent.
The ABS data also revealed a discrepancy between the median weekly income of male and female aged and disability carers: males earn $1254, while females earn $1114.
Tables 1: Health Care and Social Assistance industry by sub-division in 2021 Census
|Sub-division||Employees||Proportion of Health Care and Social Assistance industry|
|Residential Care Services||283,229||16.2%|
|Other Social Assistance Services||278,221||15.9%|
|Allied Health Services||210,003||12.0%|
|Child Care Services||115,250||6.6%|
|Pathology and Diagnostic Imaging Services||53,712||3.1%|
|Other Health Care Services||32,025||1.8%|
|Health Care and Social Assistance, nfd||28,146||1.6%|
|Medical and Other Health Care Services, nfd||26,173||1.5%|
|Social Assistance Services, nfd||25,194||1.4%|
|Health Care and Social Assistance total||1,751,717||100%|
(nfd – means not further defined and indicates that the Census response did not have enough detail to classify the person into a finer detailed industry group.)
Table 2: Occupation change 2016 to 2021
|Occupation||Employees 2016||Employees 2021||Percentage change|
|Aged and Disabled Carers||132,325||227,535||+72.0%|
|Audiologists and Speech Pathologists||9,144||13,613||+48.9%|