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This report profiles the Health and community services industry, drawing on statistical analysis and focus group research. It reviews the economic performance of the industry over the medium-term, employment and wage patterns, and the recent experiences of employers and employees. 

 The first part is a quantitative analysis of the industry, including of its structure, business performance, employment characteristics and wage trends. A large proportion of workers in the industry are reliant on an award, with hourly wage rates in some parts of the industry low compared with those in other industries. The industry has a higher than average proportion of part time and female workers, with strong employment growth over the medium term.

The second part reports the findings from focus group discussions with employers, current employees and employees who had recently left the industry. The research explores the factors affecting recent business performance, the experiences of employers and employees, and some effects of changes in minimum wages on those in the industry. Topics such as workforce retention, labour costs, labour force composition and the regulation of the industry were highlighted in the discussions.

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