About the City of Melbourne Economic Profile

The City of Melbourne has partnered with economists Geografia to make economic data available to the wider community, including students, researchers, consultants and other professionals.

As Victoria’s capital city, Melbourne is the business, administrative, cultural and recreational hub of the state. The City of Melbourne’s economy is a major contributor to the wider Victorian and Australian economies. The City of Melbourne Economic Profile presents a range of economic indicators including:

  • Size and performance of the local economy
  • Contribution of each industry sector to the local economy
  • The types of business in each industry sector and their size
  • Labour force characteristics and job location

A primary data source is the City of Melbourne’s own Census of Land Use and Employment (CLUE), a census of all businesses in the municipality. Based on this data, Geografia have provided economic modelling that helps to better understand the size and character of the municipality’s economy. Further information regarding additional data sources is provided below.

Data Sources and Notes

Census of Land Use and Employment (CLUE)

CLUE provides comprehensive information about land use, employment and economic activity across the entire City of Melbourne, such as industry structure and type; floor space type and use; employment type and status; building information; venue and capacity measures; and spatial distribution.

Produced by the City of Melbourne every two years, CLUE is used to support the Council’s business planning, policy development and strategic decision making. It is also an important tool for investors, consultants, students, urban researchers, property analysts and businesses, as it can provide a better understanding of customers and the market place.

Participation is confidential and published results of the census do not provide any specific detail about any individual business. The participation of all businesses is vital to the success of the census.

The City of Melbourne's jurisdiction was extended in 2008 (the North Melbourne and Kensington border moved north). Users should note that the CLUE results prior to 2008 do not include the extended parts of the municipality.

Geografia and SCR Economic Modelling

Geografia have provided economic estimates of the size and structure of the City of Melbourne economy. These estimates include Gross Local Product (GLP), value added and and total economic output. Estimates are provided for the economy as a whole, and individual industries. The estimates are primarily based on the SCRIO model (see glossary below) and data from the City of Melbourne's Census of Land Use and Employment.

Savills Commercial Property Prices

Savills provides regular updates on sale and lease prices for commerical office space in the City of Melbourne. The City has recieved permission from Savills to make this data available on the Economic Profile. Further information regarding Melbourne's commercial property market can be found in the organisation's Property Market Digest. More detailed property data from Savills can be accessed here. Where aggregate office rental and sale data is provided on the property page of this site, data represents a weighted average of office supply in the municipality. Specifically, the following weightings have been applied to Savill's original office price data sets to derive an aggregate figure for the municipality:

  • Melbourne CBD Premium-High: 8%
  • Melbourne CBD Premium-Low: 8%
  • Melbourne CBD A Grade-High: 21.7%
  • Melbourne CBD A Grade-Low: 21.7%
  • Melbourne CBD B Grade-High: 11.8%
  • Melbourne CBD B Grade-Low: 11.8%
  • St Kilda Road A Grade-High: 5.7%
  • St Kilda Road A Grade-Low: 5.7%
  • St Kilda Road B Grade-High: 2.8%
  • St Kilda Road B Grade-Low: 2.8%

Department of Employment

The Department of Employment (Federal Government) presents regional labour market data for each of the approximately 1,400 Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) in Australia. The estimates have been smoothed using a four-quarter average to minimise the variability inherent in the estimates at the SLA level. The Department of Employment website provides an unsmoothed series. A description of the methodology used to prepare the estimates is also provided on the Department's website. More information can be obtained here.

Department of Human Services

The Department of Human Services has compiled these statistics using data from the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority. The Authority collects data on all rental bonds lodged under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (VIC). Rental price and volume data reflects new leases commenced in the year ending each period.

Department of Environment and Primary Industries

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries Guide to Property Values lists sales data for houses, flats and units, vacant residential land, and commercial, industrial and rural properties. The data is compiled using information lodged every time a property sale is completed. It provides property statistics for Victoria's 79 municipalities and lists yearly medians by suburb over a ten-year period.

Census of Population and Housing

The Census of Population and Housing is undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics every five years. It aims to measure accurately the number of people and dwellings in Australia on Census Night, and a range of their key characteristics. The last Census was undertaken in 2011. Data from this Census has been used in the Economic Profile to calculate unemployment at a local (SA1) level in the City of Melbourne.


ANZSIC: First released in 1993, the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) was developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Statistics New Zealand to facilitate comparisons of industries between the two countries as well as the rest of the world. It is a hierarchical system used to assign businesses and workers to an industry based on the predominant activity. At the highest level it is comprised of 19 industry divisions, each of which is broken down into subdivisions, groups and, at the lowest level, classes. The most recent version is the 2006 ANZSIC, although some minor revisions have been made since then.

Full Time Equivalent (FTE): Full Time Equivalent (FTE) is used to measure the workload of an employee. It is a useful way to more accurately quantify economic activity in a region by accounting for the time each worker spends on a project or job. An FTE of 1.0 is equivalent to one full time worker (i.e. 38.5 hours per week), while an FTE of 0.5 means that employee works half-time.

Gross Local Product (GLP): Gross Local Product, also referred to as Gross Regional Product (GRP), is conceptually the same as Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This measures the market value of all final goods produced in a specified region and over a given time period (typically one year). It comprises the sum of compensation of employees, gross operating surpluses of business (profits) plus taxes less subsidies on products and production. There are several ways to estimate GLP and for the City of Melbourne Economic Profile, the expenditure method is used. All values are expressed in current prices (base year 2011).

Productivity: The ratio of outputs to inputs in production is known as productivity. It is calculated as the ratio of value added to total hours worked by all workers (measured in FTEs) in each industry.

SA1: The Statistical Area Level 1 is part of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It is the smallest geographic area or unit used to gather Census data. Designed for the 2011 Census, SA1s serve as the basic building block in the ASGS. Approximately 54,000 SA1s cover the whole of Australia with no gaps or overlaps.

SA2: The Statistical Area Level 2 is a larger area defined ASGS. SA2s consist of one or more SA1s, taking into account suburbs and localities in urban areas and defining functional social and economic zones in rural areas.

SCRIO: SCRIO is a regional economic modelling system developed by Saturn Corporate Resources. It provides indicative models of State and Local economies in a flexible, robust and cost effective manner. The core SCRIO product is a 20-sector industry model for a local economy typically a local government area. Unlike other models in the market it recognises the limitations of the availability of regional economic data, thus minimising the use of data with potentially high statistical errors.

Total Output: The sum of GLP plus the value of intermediate goods purchased in the production process plus imports from outside the local area, in any one time period. It is the equivalent of total sales made by industries within any one area. All values are expressed in current prices (base year 2011).

Unemployment Rate: A measure of unemployment, calculated as a percentage by dividing the number of unemployed people by all those currently in the labour force.

Value Added: Value added is the sum of profit, depreciation and labour costs at each stage of production. For this profile, it measures the difference between the value of output of establishments in the City of Melbourne and the cost of purchases from other establishments outside of the municipality. As a proportion of revenue, it is generally higher in labour intensive industries, such as finance, education and health services. All values are expressed in current prices (base year 2011).