The strong labour market in metropolitan Melbourne is expected to continue

Metropolitan Melbourne labour market statistics

In May 2023, metropolitan Melbourne accounted for:

  • 2.8 million workers or 76% of Victoria’s employment
  • 77,000 jobs created in the past 12 months
  • 4.1% unemployment rate, higher than 3.1% for regional Victoria
  • 69.5% labour force participation rate.

Inner metropolitan Melbourne accounts for the highest proportion of employment at 28.5%, with southern metropolitan at 17.9%, eastern metropolitan at 16.5%, northern metropolitan at 14.3%, western metropolitan at 13.6% and inner-south east at 9.1%.

An estimated 277,000 new workers are expected in metropolitan Melbourne by 2026. Around two-thirds of new workers expected (180,500) will require higher-order skills.

Across industries in metropolitan Melbourne, health care and social assistance (60,700) education and training (39,300) and professional, scientific and technical services (31,600) are expecting the highest number of new workers by 2026.

Across all metropolitan regions, professionals are the most common occupation group. Ageing and disability carers, general clerks and registered nurses are among the five jobs most in demand.

New workers expected in metropolitan Melbourne 2023 to 2026

The number workers in northern metropolitan Melbourne is 394,500, this is expected to increase by 41,400 new workers by 2026.

In western metropolitan Melbourne, there are 373,400 workers, expected to increase by 36,700 by 2026.

In eastern metropolitan Melbourne, there are 454,100 workers, expected to increase by 44,500 by 2026.

In southern metropolitan Melbourne, there are 493,700 workers, expected to increase by 46,000 by 2026.

In inner-south east metropolitan Melbourne, there are 251,000 workers, expected to increase by 24,300 by 2026.

In inner metropolitan Melbourne, there are 785,800 workers, expected to increase by 84,100 by 2026.35


35 The estimates of employment by regions in the Victorian Skills Plan will differ from some other common sources such as the ABS Labour Force Survey due to methodological differences. The Victorian Skills Authority's data relates to place of work and not place of residence. The regional boundaries differ slightly when comparing metropolitan Melbourne with regional Victoria because regional and metropolitan partnerships are based on grouping of local government areas (LGAs) which do not neatly align with the ABS Greater Capital City Statistical Areas. And the time points of comparison may differ, depending on the data source.