The construction sector posted the biggest drop in employment over the past year, a fall of 70,200 or 6.7 per cent while mining gained 44,600 workers, a rise of 19.8 per cent.
The seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics today are based on a survey in the middle month of each quarter.
They showed the number of people employed in construction in August was 978,300 - 8.5 per cent of the employed workforce compared to 9.2 per cent a year before.
The next biggest fall was in public administration and safety, a public sector-dominated area, recording a fall of 48,400 or 6.6 per cent.
That was followed by the transport, postal and warehousing sector with a fall of 30,700 or 5.3 per cent, and retail trade where employment fell by 22,600 or 1.8 per cent.
These sectors weighed heavily on total employment growth, which came in at 62,100 or 0.5 per cent over the year or less than a quarter of the average growth rate of the preceding decade.
On the upside, mining led the way, with a gain of 44,600 or 19.8 per cent.
Three other sectors, education and training, health care and social assistance, and professional, scientific and technical services - the latter driven largely by the mining boom - all posted rises of around 40,000, or three to four per cent.
At the same time, information media and telecommunications added jobs for 31,000 people.
But for a relatively small sector the percentage change was very large at 14.9 per cent, no doubt mainly in telecommunications - the NBN in particular - rather than, as any journalist can attest, information media.