Work and investment

Geelong has a diverse economy with over 16,000 businesses and a labour force of over 101,000 people.


Geelong’s economy has been diversifying over many years and now has a much broader industry base. Traditional manufacturing industries have been in decline and have resulted in the closure of Alcoa’s Point Henry Aluminium Smelter (August 2014) and the closure of Ford’s manufacturing plant in October 2016. Both these businesses have been a major part of the economic landscape in Geelong with Ford being established in Geelong in 1925 and Alcoa in 1963.

Despite this, key economic indicators show that Geelong has a strong local economy with an investment pipeline that will provide job opportunities into the future, particularly in emerging growth sectors. Geelong’s major industry strengths include: health; education and research; advanced manufacturing; defence; information and communications technology; tourism; and food and agriculture.

Major industry sectors include rental, hiring and real estate (16 per cent of the workforce), manufacturing (14 per cent), health care and social assistance (10 per cent), education and training (8 per cent) and retail trade (7 per cent).  Rental, hiring and real estate has overtaken manufacturing as the biggest value-added contributor to the region’s Gross Regional Product at $1.56 million annually (16 per cent of total value add). Trade through the Geelong Port also continues to be strong, now at 12.1 million tonnes (a slight decline on 2013-2014 figures). 639 vessels entered the port in 2014-2015.

Investment in the region continues to grow with $1.3 billion in major construction and redevelopment underway in Geelong and a further $2.3 billion awaiting commencement or in planning stages.

Statistics referred to in this section have been taken from the City of Greater Geelong Enterprise Geelong: Facts at a Glance (Nov 2015).

For more about business and investment visit Enterprise Geelong.

Page last updated: Friday, 23 November 2018