A NSW Government website

Talented workforce

New South Wales offers employers Australia’s largest, most skilled workforce, with the talent to launch or expand your business.

Skills, size and diversity

New South Wales (NSW) has a diverse workforce including technology specialists, researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs developing cutting edge innovation.

With so many people attracted to NSW every year our workforce is growing. NSW is expected to grow on average by over 85,000 people each year until 2041. That means the pool of talented workers will grow with your business.  

Size isn’t the only advantage NSW has to offer.

Our workforce is diverse, experienced and educated

  • 69% NSW workers hold post-school qualifications
  • 38% Sydney's workforce holds university qualifications
  • 24% NSW's workforce is qualified in STEM
  • 10% of the NSW workforce has a health qualification
  • 4% of the NSW population has an agricultural qualification
  • 454,000 government-funded vocational education and training (VET) students in 2016


More people migrating to Australia choose to call NSW home than any other state.

Over 40% of Sydney residents were born overseas and more than 30% speak a language other than English at home. Over 275 languages are spoken in NSW.

We also attract more skilled labour than any other Australian city through our skilled immigration scheme.


More than two-thirds of NSW workers hold a bachelor’s degree. The average age of the workforce is 40 years old.


NSW is characterised by a highly skilled workforce with 71% of all residents working in a white collar position. This is expected to increase to 74% by 2027-28, reflecting the high value add businesses moving to NSW.

We also have nearly half of Australia’s top Times-ranked universities, and more public universities (11) than any other Australian state. TAFE NSW is the leading provider of technical and further education in Australia, with strong business and industry partnerships and more than 500,000 enrolled students.

NSW workforce at a glance

  • NSW is home to the highest number of universities in Australia, including University of Sydney, Australia’s oldest university, established in 1850.
  • Sydney has 6 universities – two of which are members of the Group of Eight, a coalition of the eight world-leading, research intensive Australian universities
  • Universities and tertiary institutions in regional NSW are also prevalent with 5 universities and 130 TAFEs 

Working age population 

Sydney has a higher proportion of residents aged between 20 and 34 than any city in Australia. This means we have a younger demographic who are working age. This represents a strong future for potential employees.

Regional NSW has a high proportion of younger individuals aged between 5 and 19 than Australia more generally. 

Fast population growth 

Sydney is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, with an expected growth rate of 1.27% over the next 2 years.

This growing population offers businesses that choose to locate in NSW both a growing local workforce and a sizeable market opportunity.

Investment NSW can help point you in the right direction. Contact us