Hervey Bay supports a number of primary industries including sugar, citrus and pineapple growing, cattle raising and some plantation forestry. Fishing and seafood processing are also major local enterprises. Local value added (secondary) industries include the treated pine timber industry and building sectors. Both are significant employers in the region.
Light manufacturing industries servicing the heavy engineering centres in Maryborough and Bundaberg are establishing a significant foothold. A light aircraft industry based on the innovative design of the Seabird Seeker aircraft is located in Hervey Bay. A number of cottage industries designed to meet the needs of specific niche markets particularly in relation to tourism have been established in Hervey Bay.
Outdoor markets operate each weekendat alternate venues. Continued rapid population growth in Hervey Bay has been reflected in the growth and expansion of the retail, education and health sectors.