Barista and fitness jobs growth reflects changing society

Liam and Jesse, gym workers, having a discussion in a gym with fitness equipment

This story was first published on Friday 15 June 2018. If you wish to use this content, please contact to confirm that the information is still current.

A substantial increase in the number of fitness industry workers and baristas over the last decade reflects changes in the way we live.

Wake up at 7am, go to the gym, shower and get dressed, catch the train into work, stop for a coffee and arrive at work by 9am. For many Australians, this frantic routine dominates their weekday mornings.

According to Ivan Neville, who heads up the Department’s Labour Market Research and Analysis Branch, Australians have become increasingly wealthier and time poor and have subsequently increased their consumption of specialised services over the past few decades.

‘Our increased appetite for specialised services has transformed the labour market. Jobs that did not exist or employed very few people decades ago, now employ many people,’ Ivan said.

‘For example, a Barista was not a recognised occupation prior to the 2006 Census. But 10 years later there are now more than 37,000 people employed as baristas.

‘We would much rather pick up a better quality and more convenient cup of coffee than make it ourselves.’

The cultural shift towards purchasing specialised services, coupled with our desire for a healthy lifestyle, has also driven employment in the fitness industry. Over the 10 years to the 2016 Census, the number of fitness instructors increased by 97.4% (or 13,400).

Ivan said the growth in services would continue.

‘The Department expects there to be more than 983,000 new jobs created in service-based industries in a variety of skill levels over the five years to May 2022,’ he said.

Occupation 2006 2016 Change
Changes in occupation numbers over the past 10 years
Barista 8,200 37,200 29,000
Fitness Instructor 13,800 27,200 13,400
Kitchenhand 86,400 109,600 23,200
Software Engineer 16,600 30,600 14,000
Secretary (general) 81,900 34,000 -47,900

Source: ABS, Census of Population and Housing, 2006 & 2016

Explore the trends in other careers on Job Outlook.

Feature caption: Liam (left) recently hired Jesse (right) for his gym, Inside Out, on the Gold Coast. Jobs in the fitness industry have doubled in the past decade.

Correct at time of publication.