A consolidated snapshot of the communications sector and its role in the Australian economy.

At a glance

 46% telecommunications services; 14% publishing (except internet and music publishing); 12% broadcasting (except internet); 10% postal, courier pick-up and delivery; 10% ISPs and internet publishing, broadcasting, websearch, data processing; 6% motion picture and sound recording,; and 3% library and other information services — all measured as a share of total sector output. The graphic shows that the comms sector mainly supports the finance industry; the professional, scientific & technical services industry; the manufacturing industry; and the wholesale & retail trade industries. The graphic shows that labour productivity in the comms sector more than doubled between 1994-95 and 2016-17 (compared to a market sector average of around 45%). The graphic shows the average worker in the comms sector earns $1633 per week (compared to all industries average of $1207); as at May 2018. The graphic shows that 18% of comms sector workers and businesses are in regional areas (with 82% in metro areas). The graphic shows that 77% of revenue for the comms sector comes from less than 1% of business. The graphic shows that more than 97% of firms are small businesses; 2% are medium business, and less than 1% are large businesses.

The communications sector is a critical enabler of the economy and social activity. Communications technology touches and transforms everyone's lives.

Although its direct contribution to the economy and employment is relatively small, the communications sector exerts a substantial influence on other sectors as an enabler of economic and social activity and progress.

The BCAR's Communications Monitor provides key economic indicators about the sector. It also analyses and tracks trends to provide insights into the sector's role in the broader economy and its dynamics.

The monitor will be updated as new data are released. Please bookmark the page for easy access, or contact us via the feedback form to stay in touch.

Recent updates

9 October 2018

5206.0 – Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, Jun 2018
6291.0.55.003 – Labour Force Australia, Detailed, Quarterly
6302.0 – Average Weekly Earings, Australia, May 2018
8153.0 – Internet Activity, Australia, June 2018
8158.0 – Innovation in Australian Business, 2016-17
8167.0 – Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2016-17

Chart updates:

  • ‘Part of a globalised sector’
  • ‘The sector is innovating’
  • ‘Wages are higher than average’
  • ‘Growth trends – size’
  • ‘Growth is faster than the overall economy’
  • ‘Contribution to economic growth’
  • ‘Although the overall spend has increased’
  • ‘Employment has grown less than the overall economy’
  • ‘Less underemployment than the rest of the economy’
  • ‘Jobs are concentrated in the largest states’
  • ‘The workforce tends to be younger’
  • ‘The composition of service technologies has changed’
  • ‘Trend towards higher internet speeds’
  • ‘ISPs offer a range of services’

21 June 2018

6291.0.55.003—Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, May 2018

Chart updates:

  • 'Employment has grown less than the overall economy'
  • 'Less underemployment than the rest of the economy'
  • 'Jobs are concentrated in the largest states'
  • 'The workforce tends to be younger'.

15 June 2018

5209.0.55.001—Australian National Accounts: Input-Output Tables, 2015–16

Chart updates:

  • 'Communications sector composition'
  • 'The sector's composition is stable'
  • 'But the contribution to economic growth has changed'
  • 'The value chain shows less labour reliance'
  • 'Output per employed person varies across subsectors'