Data from the ABS released today shows the total number of businesses for the 2016-17 financial year. When we consider Cairns (which in this case we take as the SA3 areas of Cairns-North and Cairns-South) we see that the total number of businesses grew by 177 (or 1.3%) in 2016-17 from the previous year to 13,809. The greatest number of businesses in the area are in the Construction sector (2,548 in total) although this is barely changed from the previous year. Other important sectors are Rental, Hiring & Real Estate (1,663 in total) which fell by 5% over the year. Professional Services (1,332 in total) were up 3.8% while Retail (856 in total) fell by 1.0%.
The sectors seeing the fastest growth were Information, Media & Telecommunications (113 in total) up 21.5%; Arts & Recreation (157) up 15.4%; Wholesale (345) up 10.9% and Healthcare & Social Assistance (809) up 5.6%. Evidence of the improvement in the tourism sector generally can be seen in Accommodation & Food businesses growing by 3.3% and Transport up 3.6%; although as noted above Retail fell slightly.
In the Cassowary Coast region (in this case made up of the Johnstone, Innisfail and Tully SA2 areas) we see total business numbers were virtually unchanged at 3,123 (up 0.5%). Agriculture remains by far the largest sector (1,100 businesses) and this also rose by 0.5%. Increases were seen in Healthcare (80 in total) up 17.6%; Education & Training (26 in total) up 23.8% and Accommodation & Food (141 in total) up 8.5%. Falls were seen in Construction (432 businesses) down 3.8% and Retail (157 in total) down 4.3%.
Within the region we see that businesses numbers grew by 23 (1.8%) in the Tully SA2 area (incl Tully, Cardwell and Mission Beach) but fell by 6 (0.3%) in the Innisfail and Johnstone SA2 areas.