Lots of people, notably including political commentators, imagine Queensland as a state dominated by mining and agriculture, and presumed to think and vote accordingly. I’ve just collected some statistics in response to a query made to the university, and I thought they might be of more general interest.
Like Australia as a whole, the Queensland economy is dominated by services. As this table shows, agriculture and mining each account for about 2.5 per cent of total employment. This is marginally, but not significantly, more than for Australia as a whole (2.4 and 2.0 per cent)
Agriculture and mining together account for less jobs than service industries you might think of as relatively minor, such as Professional, Scientific and Technical Services or Administrative and Support Services.
Even adding in manufacturing, which, in Queensland, largely consists of processing primary products into outputs like food products and refined metals, the “old economy” only accounts for about 12 per cent of all employment. Health care and social assistance alone is larger
The primary production share of employment has declined over time, with fluctuations between mining and agriculture. Development of new mines also accounted for significant employment in construction until about 2015, but this has now dropped off (hard to extract from the data, but easy to see by looking at the pace of new development)
Mining is a significant, but not critical source of revenue to the state government, yielding $5 billion out of a total of $58 billion. However, the Grants Commission takes access to royalty income into account in allocating GST revenue, so the actual benefit to Queensland is smaller than the $5 billion figure would suggest.