Harris Street

Harris Street village, once a maritime and industrial precinct, is now led by knowledge and creative industries which occupy many of the historic warehouses.

The presence of tertiary education institutions also has a strong influence on employment in the area.

Workers in the village have high average incomes and a large proportion live within the City of Sydney local area. 

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Employment by industry

Employment by city-based industry sector in the village has been summarised in Table 10. The largest industry sector in the village by employment was creative industries, which employed 21.7% of the village’s workforce.

The higher education and research share of employment was also high (18.1%), with the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and TAFE NSW located within the village. The tourist, culture and leisure sector was also a significant employer at 15.6% of total employment driven by the significant entertainment and tourism facilities within the village.

Table 10 – Employment by City-Based Industry Sector, 2012

Employment % of Total Employment


134 0.5%

Creative Industries

6,303 21.7%

Finance & Financial Services

846 2.9%

Food & Drink

2,441 8.4%


81 0.3%


166 0.6%

Higher Education & Research

5,253 18.1%


4,219 14.5%

Life Science (Bio-Tech)

271 0.9%


156 0.5%

Motor Vehicle

12 0.0%

Natural Resource-Based Industries

0 0.0%

Professional & Business Services

2,800 9.7%

Property Development & Operation

527 1.8%

Retail & Personal Services

453 1.6%

Social Capital

301 1.0%

Tourist, Cultural & Leisure

4,534 15.6%

Transport & Logistics

474 1.6%


27 0.1%


12 0.0%


29,010 100.0%

Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2012 – City of Sydney

Income of workers

Journey to Work data produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics can be analysed to show the annual personal incomes of those who work in Harris Street village, as displayed in Chart 5. Due to the high proportion of workers in the creative industries and the higher education and research categories, the majority of workers of the village have medium to high personal incomes. The highest proportion of workers (23%) is in the highest income bracket of greater than $104,000 per year, while a further 18% are in the second-highest bracket of $78,000 to $103,999 per year.

Chart 5 – Workers' Personal Income (Annual)

Chart 5 – Workers' Personal Income (Annual)

Workers’ place of residence

Like most villages in the City of Sydney local area the largest proportion of workers in Harris Street village resides within the City of Sydney representing 17% of the worker population. The next 3 most common council areas of residence for workers are Marrickville, Randwick and Leichhardt, which all represent 5% of the worker population and are all located in close proximity to the village.

Chart 6 – Workers’ LGA of Residence (Top 10), 2011

Chart 6 – Workers’ LGA of Residence (Top 10), 2011

Workers’ mode of transport

The Journey to Work data can also be used to show the modes of transport used by workers within the village to get to work. Chart 7 shows that the largest proportion of workers (38%) is reliant on cars to get to work. This is above the City of Sydney local area average of 26% but significantly below the Metro Sydney average.

Train and bus usage among village workers is below the City's local area average due to the limited connection of these forms of transport to the village. However, 9% of the worker population walk to and from work, which is above the City's local area average of 8%. The proportion of workers who ride a bike to work is also marginally higher than the City's local area average.

Chart 7 – Worker Mode of Transport

Chart 7 – Worker Mode of Transport

Location of workers

Figure 10 shows where the density of employment by block across the village. The areas of the highest employment density are in the following locations:

  • University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and TAFE NSW at the southern edge of the village
  • The Star and around Pyrmont Bridge Road
  • Jones Bay Wharf and Darling Island
  • along Harris and Jones streets.

The distribution of employment largely replicates the distribution of office floor space in the village, as this tends to be the most dense land use by employee numbers.

Figure 10 - Employment Density

Figure 10 - Employment Density

What does this mean for my business?

As with local residents, local workers can be a key source of revenue for many businesses. The presence of education and creative industry professionals provide opportunities to tap into a highly-paid workforce, complementing high-income residents. Analysis of the location and characteristics of the local workforce may assist retail and service providers in determining how best to benefit from this group of customers.

From an employer’s perspective, the proximity to UTS and TAFE NSW provides opportunities to tap into the student population for worker needs. Students are generally looking for flexible working arrangements such as casual employment outside of school hours. 


This information has been compiled from various sources. The publisher and contributors accept no responsibility for any injury, loss or damage arising from the use, error or omissions therein. While all care is taken to ensure a high degree of accuracy, users are invited to notify the City of Sydney of any discrepancies. No part of this information, including maps or data, may be reproduced without written permission.

Last updated: Tuesday, 16 June 2015