For the Australian economy, the worst of the COVID-19 recession is over – but many sectors and industries are looking very different to where they were 18 months ago.
Certain industries, such as international airlines, that hit rock-bottom are projected to rise in the 2021 financial year, according to analysis by market research company IBISWorld.
Meanwhile, other sectors that were once booming with activity, like the apartment and construction sector, are waning.
“The recovery from the pandemic is the dominant theme among the fastest growing industries, with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine expected to enable tourism and large gatherings to resume,” IBISWorld analysts said.
Here are the surprising four jobs and sectors projected to boom, followed by five set to ‘bust’ in the new financial year:
4 Aussie jobs set to BOOM
Good news if you’re a pilot, flight crew, or work in this industry: thanks to the global recovery, this industry is set to rise by a stunning 78.4 per cent to $14.7 billion in the 2021 financial year.
“The number of international tourist visitor nights is expected to jump to 213.9 million in 2021-22, after falling to a record low of 36.5 million in the previous financial year,” analysts wrote.
And over the next five years, the number of tourists coming into Australia is expected to eventually recover – although this will be hindered by the ongoing global travel ban and Australia’s own vaccine rollout.
Farmers cheered when many years of drought were finally put to an end thanks to rainfall earlier this year. This will be a boon for the cotton ginning industry, where revenue is set to increase by 71.7 per cent in the 2021 financial year to hit $1.4 billion.
“Wide profit margins in the cotton growing industry are expected to encourage farmers, particularly irrigators, to grow cotton when water availability increases.”
Grab your popcorn: though several cities in Australia have recently been forced into snap lockdowns, the recovery from the worst of the COVID-19 crisis sees Aussies itching to go back to the cinemas, with revenue for this industry projected to soar by 69.6 per cent to hit $1.1 billion in the new financial year.
“The releases of many major blockbuster films have been postponed during the COVID-19 pandemic … however, as major economies gradually ease their social distancing restrictions in the coming year, many of these films will likely be released.”
Meanwhile, films continued to be developed even during the pandemic. “As a result, 2021-22 is projected to [be] packed with frequent major film releases.”
But with COVID-19 still circulating within Australia’s population, the threat of social distancing and lockdown restrictions remain, and the popularity of online streaming also threatens this sector.
Battery mineral mining
As the electric vehicle industry continues to mature, demand for battery material – especially lithium and cobalt – will rise. A 22.1 per cent increase in revenue in the battery material mining industry is expected across five years, with expectations to hit $4.4 billion by 2026.
5 Aussie jobs set to BUST
Apartment and townhouse construction
In the years just before the pandemic, this was one of the busiest sectors – but it is now moving into a cyclical low, IBISWorld industry analysts believe.
In short, there was excess apartment stock to begin with, but demand has fallen far short amid weak population growth and virtually no migrants due to the travel ban.
“Accelerated growth in apartment construction has lifted unsold stock levels and increased vacancy rates in several metropolitan markets over the past five years, particularly in Melbourne and Brisbane.”
Air freight services
As the travel and airline industry came to a near standstill after the travel ban was announced last year, the air freight services sector enjoyed a 27.2 per cent spike in revenue in the 2020 financial year thanks to lower freight capacity ramping up prices.
But this will head the other way in the 2021 financial year as domestic travel starts picking up again.
In the next five years, revenue in this industry is forecasted to fall at 4.5 per cent to $6.2 billion.
Petrol refining, manufacturing
Two of Australia’s four petroleum refineries are set to shut down, triggering a 15 per cent decline in industry revenue in the new financial year.
“Large, low-cost refineries have been developed in Asia that are capable of meeting Australian fuel standards, structurally shifting the way Australians acquire petroleum products,” IBISWorld analysts said.
As pubs and restaurants were forced to shut their doors during COVID-19 lockdowns, liquor stores were the only way for consumers to purchase alcohol. But as hospitality venues reopen, the liquor retailing industry is forecast to lose 14.1 per cent revenue in the new financial year.
As liquor demand returns to pre-pandemic levels, online retail platforms will rise to meet some of this demand, according to IBISWorld.
Iron ore mining
Iron ore is Australia’s biggest export by far – and despite the ongoing Australia-China trade tensions, Beijing continues to be our biggest customer.
While iron ore prices have recently hit all-time highs, these prices are expected to come down in the new financial year.
“The price of iron ore [is] expected to decline by 21.5 per cent, to US$104.4 ($139.22) per metric ton. As a result, industry revenue is expected to decline by 10.2 per cent, to $115.5 billion,” analysts said.
Though prices will decline, serious disruptions to iron ore mining aren’t expected as China struggles to find a strong alternative market to buy the steel-making material.