THE NEWS WRAP: Health overtakes retail as biggest employer

The healthcare and social services sectors now employ more people than any other industry in Australia, according to results from the 2011 Australian census.


The results, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, show 11.6% of Australians are working in healthcare and community services.


They include doctors, nurses, dentists, childcare workers and aged care providers. Meanwhile, there has been a decline in the number of people working in manufacturing and retail.


At the 2006 census, retail trade was the primary industry of employment in Australia. It is now second, accounting for 10.5% of employment in 2011.


Virgin raises the stakes in war with Qantas


Virgin Australia boss John Borghetti has warned rival Qantas that Virgin’s multimillion dollar deals are part of a five-year plan that will produce further shocks for its bigger competitor.


Virgin has made a series of deals to boost its presence in the regional and low-cost domestic markets as it continues to use its mainstream product to increase its corporate market share.


Virgin has taken a 60% stake in the Australian operations of Tiger Airways, while Singapore Airlines is making a $105 million investment to take a 10% stake in Virgin.


New York Stock Exchange to reopen today


The New York Stock Exchange will reopen for regular trading today after being shut down for two days because of Hurricane Sandy.


Yesterday marked the first time since 1888 that the exchange was closed for two consecutive days because of bad weather. The exchange says its trading floor is now fully operational.




The Australian dollar is higher as markets await the fallout from Hurricane Sandy.


At 6.30am, the Australian dollar was trading at US103.68 cents, up from 103.43 cents on Tuesday.


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