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The Education Sector has become more exposed to the state of the economy over the past 10 years. This is because the primary
and secondary education sub-sectors have received a higher proportion of private school enrolments and Australia has a big
international fee paying student sector.
The International Sector is a very significant component and is now worth $17 billion. As at February 10, 389,461 international
students were enrolled in education programs in Australia. This figure represents a 6.1% increase on 2009, although this is slower
growth than previous years. The biggest country of origin is China (105,552 students in 2010) and this grew by 16.7% on the
previous year, underlying the strength of its economy. With China's appetite for higher education continuing to grow, its enrolments
are expected to offset the anticipated decline in Indian students. Private school enrolments have held up well. Independent
secondary school enrolments grew 1.6% in 2009 and Independent primary school enrolments grew an impressive 2.8%, whereas
overall enrolments were virtually flat over both private and state sectors.
The solid if not spectacular growth in private enrolments and the international sub-sector has resulted in full time jobs growing in
this sector (+1.5%) and a lower rate of growth in part time jobs (+0.8%). This is one of the few sectors to achieve this; that is, both
full time and part time jobs growth.
WA is leading the charge in this sector with strong jobs growth. However, this growth is fuelled by part time jobs, with a modest
growth only in full time jobs. SA is growing both full time and especially part time jobs. Underlying the economic strength of
Victoria at the moment, it is growing full time jobs in this sector, whereas Queensland is shedding both full time and part time
positions. In NSW, although overall jobs are falling, full time jobs are growing (+1.0%) whereas part time jobs are falling.
With enrolments expected to grow, due to population growth and also growth in the international student numbers, more jobs
growth is expected in this sector, with jobs to rise by 0.4% by November 10.
Education is more exposed to the economy, but better times are ahead
Popn. Aged 14-65
Source: ABS/EMDA Model 2010
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