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A Look into the Main Industries of Adelaide

The City of Adelaide can open the doors of opportunity to students and young professionals. With several thriving industries, Adelaide’s a terrific place to start your career.

A 2021 national census found that 94.5% of Adelaideans ages 15 and above are employed in different industries. For your convenience, our team conducted thorough research to know more info about Adelaide’s main industries.

What are the main industries of Adelaide?

In no particular order, here are Adelaide’s main industries:

  • Food and agribusiness
  • Healthcare and social assistance
  • Technology
  • Financial and insurance services
  • Public administration and safety
  • Financial and insurance services
  • Mining
  • Rental hiring and real estate services
  • Education and training
  • Administrative support and services

We considered a lot of factors in determining what industries in Adelaide can be considered the main ones. 

The most common factors we utilized though, are the industries’ economic output and employment rate recorded during the 2021 national consensus.

Our team only included sectors that have positive growth in these two components no matter how minimal it may be. 

We excluded sectors like Adelaide’s arts and recreation services industry because, despite its high employment rate, it still has a negative growth in economic output. 

We did the same thing to the retail trade industry which, on the other hand, has positive economic growth but a negative employment growth rate.

Food and Agribusiness 

Food and agribusiness is an industry that handles all processes concerning the products we eat. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry stated that in 2021, over 239,000 South Australians work in food and agribusiness. 

The City of Adelaide greatly contributes to this industry. As a major force in the production of premium wine and field crops, the city exports these products to over 100 countries.

In 2022, the total earnings of the South Australian food and agribusiness industry reached 17.3 billion dollars with over 73,000 employees working in Adelaide. 

In addition to this, Economy.ID states that Adelaide’s major farming region (Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu) earned a total of over 703 million dollars in the same year.

Here’s the 2021–2022 Primary Industry Scorecard which shows the top products of the food and agribusiness industry of South Australia.


The future’s also bright for this industry. The Primary Industries Scorecard also shows that the revenue of the food and agribusiness industry has increased over the years. 

Here’s the five-year trend of the South Australian food and agribusiness industry.


As you can see, from a low 14.1 billion dollars in revenue in 2019 to 2020 (this low revenue was mostly caused by the global pandemic), it has increased to the previously stated 17.3 billion dollars. 

Healthcare and Social Assistance

Healthcare and Social Assistance

Healthcare and social assistance is the industry that leads the development and production of goods/services essential to the preservation of life. These include medical research, medicinal innovations, therapies, and many more. 

According to Economy.ID, this industry earned 3.6 billion dollars for the City of Adelaide in 2021 with a 1.1 billion dollar positive change in output from 2015 to 2021.

Economy.ID also states that healthcare and social assistance is Adelaide’s biggest employer. 

The statistics they gathered say that 17.2% of Adelaideans work in this industry, and over 4,000 workers entered this sector’s workforce from 2015 to 2021.

A 2016 research conducted by the Bank of South Australia (BSA) also projects that this industry will continue its high employment rate in the future. 

To be specific, the BSA states that by 2040 over 1.4 million Australians will reach the age of 85 which will result in high demand for healthcare and social assistance products and services.

According to the BSA, Australians aged 75 and above visit healthcare and social assistance institutions 1.4 times per year. This number doubles the clinic and hospital visits per year of those who belong to the 55 to 64 age bracket.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) supports the hypothesis of the BSA, as the former’s study shows how the healthcare and social assistance industry’s employment rate continues to grow. 



Adelaide’s tech sector primarily earns from fields such as computer engineering, nanotechnology, and robotics. According to Economy.ID, the City of Adelaide’s tech industry earned approximately 5.4 billion dollars in 2021.

With a whopping 1.6 billion dollars of growth from 2015 to 2021, this industry is growing in profitability.

The great news is that employment in the tech industry is in-demand due to technology’s constant progress. Global Australia’s data shows that there are currently over 39,000 employees who work in this sector.

The low number of employees, though, is opening a lot of doors for people who want to enter Adelaide’s tech industry.

In fact, this industry has the highest change in workforce in Adelaide. From 2015 to 2021, more than 5,000 registered workers entered this sector.

This number is still quite small considering that tech is 9% of what South Australia exports internationally. However, the growth from 2015 to 2021 can still be taken as a very positive sign.

The other fantastic news is the demand for tech workers is strongly supported by South Australia’s government too. 

In 2020, the government launched the Hi-Tech Sector Plan. This plan aims to rapidly improve South Australia’s tech-based businesses and innovation or research centers.

This project will open more cutting-edge labs in Adelaide which opens the door to more job opportunities.

Financial and Insurance Services

Financial and Insurance Services

The financial and insurance services industry is composed of organizations that cater to both retail and commercial customers. Banks, insurance firms, and investment companies are the common organizations that make up this sector.

According to Economic.ID, 8.1% of Adelaide’s professionals work in this industry. Most of these financial and insurance services employees operate in banks and insurance firms. 

In 2021, the financial and insurance services industry of the City of Adelaide earned over 7.5 billion dollars. 

This sector’s growth in terms of profit is also massive, as from 2015 to 2021, Adelaide’s financial and insurance services sector experienced an increase in output of over 1 billion dollars.

This exceptional change in output is the highest by industry. This means that the financial and insurance industry of Adelaide is growing strong.

Public Administration and Safety

Public Administration and Safety

Public administration and safety is an industry that is composed of governmental and legal services. The most well-known professionals working in this sector are police officers, lawyers, notary clerks, and politicians. 

This industry is the second most popular one in Adelaide. The statistics compiled by Economic.ID reveals that 16.9% of Adelaidean employees work in the public administration and safety sector. 

The employment rate for this industry is also progressing. From 2015 to 2021, over 1,200 registered workers started their careers in public administration and safety.

This is in part because of the industry’s great pay. This sector garnered 3.7 billion dollars in 2021 alone. 

Additionally, the public administration and safety industry’s revenue output has recorded an increase of 416 million dollars from 2015 to 2021.



With multiple mining ores where high-quality copper, silver, and gold can be found, the Adelaide mining industry earns a lot. 

Economic.ID’s compiled data shows that this industry earned 1.7 billion dollars in 2021. The labor done in this sector is hard, and it definitely contributes a lot to the economy. 

Moreover, from 2015 to 2021, this industry’s increase in output reached a staggering amount of over 568 million dollars.

However, only 1% of Adelaide’s employees work in this industry. The mining sector only had 128 additional registered workers from 2016 to 2021.

Additionally, InDaily states that as of early 2023, the demand for miners has increased. 

This means that if you’re planning or qualified to be a miner, now’s the best time to search for job openings.

Rental Hiring and Real Estate Services

Rental Hiring and Real Estate Services

Rental hiring and real estate services is an industry wherein customers can rent or purchase different equipment or establishment from business organizations. 

Most of the professionals here assess the buyers’ or renters’ needs to gain profit. Also, most of Adelaide’s rental hiring and real estate agents choose to work with real estate firms and companies that rent transport equipment.

This industry is one of Adelaide’s major earners. In 2021, the city’s rental hiring and real estate services earned 3.8 billion dollars. 

From 2015 to 2021, this sector also gained a positive change in output which totals approximately 623 million dollars.

Just like Adelaide’s mining industry, though, the city’s rental hiring and real estate services sector is experiencing slow growth in terms of employment. Only 1.5% of Adelaide’s professionals are in this industry.

Moreover, from 2015 to 2021, only 71 registered professionals entered this sector’s workforce. 

Education and Training

Education and Training

The education and training sector is where you’ll get to see professors, trainers, lab technicians, and tutors. According to Profile.ID, 8.6% of Adelaide’s employees are in this sector.

The majority of the professionals in the education and training industry works in tertiary and secondary academic institutions.

If you’re planning to join the workforce of this industry, you’re in for some great news. Adelaide’s education and training workforce has recorded an increase of 1,068 registered workers from 2015 to 2021.

The contribution of this industry also doesn’t end in passing knowledge to Adelaide’s students. In 2021, the city’s education and training sector gained 2.7 billion dollars with a 322 million dollars of increase in output from 2015 to 2021. 

WilltoTeach also reported an increase in the average salary of educators in Adelaide! 

From 2020 to 2022, teachers, trainers, and tutors have received an increase in salary ranging from $3,000 to $4,000.

Administrative Support and Services 

Administrative Support and Services

Administrative support and services include cleaners, pest control, and employment and advertising agencies. In Adelaide, 3.3% of professionals work in the administrative support and services industry.

Most of these professionals are working in travel and employment agencies. This sector attracts employees as evidenced by its employment growth from 2015 to 2021.

During this span, around 600 registered Adelaidean workers entered the industry. This might seem few but is still a positive growth nonetheless. 

In terms of output, Profile.ID states that in 2021, the city’s administrative support and services industry earned 1.2 billion dollars. This sector’s 74 million dollar growth in output from 2015 to 2021 is also noteworthy. 

FAQs about the main industries in Adelaide

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