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1345.4 - SA Stats, Apr 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/04/2007   
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EMPLOYMENT IN THE RETAIL TRADE INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Retail trade spans a variety of activities ranging from supermarket operations and food retailing through to the sale and repair of personal items, household goods and motor vehicles. It is a conspicuous employer of young people, and as such is a vital contributor to South Australia's economy.

This article sources data from Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly Nov 2006 (ABS Cat. no. 6291.0.55.003). Employment has been examined in terms of average annual employment for both the retail trade industry and all industries. As the ABS Labour Force Survey collects industry details on a quarterly basis (every February, May, August and November), average annual total employment has been calculated by summing the four observations and dividing by four. This 'averaging' approach has been used to offset the seasonal volatility associated with some original series estimates of industry employment at the state level.

RETAIL TRADE AND ALL INDUSTRY EMPLOYMENT

In 2006, the retail trade industry accounted for 15% (or 112,900 persons) of average annual total employment (all industries) in South Australia. The retail trade industry also accounted for 15% (or 1,492,300 persons) of the average annual total employment (all industries) in Australia.

The following graph shows the progression, over time, in the proportion of average annual total employment that the retail trade industry accounted for.

AVERAGE ANNUAL EMPLOYMENT, Retail trade as a proportion of all industries,
South Australia: Original


From a time-series perspective, retail trade industry employment in South Australia has increased steadily between 1996 and 2006. Retail trade industry employment in South Australia increased by 11% between 1996 and 2001 and another 11% between 2001 and 2006. Over the decade from 1996 to 2006 retail trade industry employment in South Australia increased by 24%.


AGE PROFILE

The retail trade industry is a notable employer of young people. Considering average annual total employment of 15–19 year olds in South Australia in 2006, more than one half (55%) were employed in the retail trade industry. This was an increase of 13 percentage points from 1996, when 42% of all employed persons aged 15–19 years in South Australia were employed in this industry. Nationally, there were less persons aged 15–19 years employed in the retail trade industry in Australia (49%) in 2006 than in South Australia (55%). Furthermore – unlike South Australia – the proportion of employed 15–19 year olds that worked in the retail trade industry in Australia has changed little (from 49%) on average since 1996.

The following graph presents changes in the age composition of the South Australian retail trade industry employment, over 1996, 2001 and 2006. It can be seen that 20–24 year olds are also prominent within the industry. Interestingly, the percentage of persons aged 65 or over who worked in the retail trade industry increased by 6 percentage points from 1996 (7%) to 2006 (13%). Nationally, the proportion of those employed and aged 65 and over who worked in this industry Australia-wide decreased by 2 percentage points over this period, from 10% in 1996 to 8% in 2006.

AVERAGE ANNUAL EMPLOYMENT, Retail trade as a proportion of all industries,
South Australia: Original

SEX

The labour force in Australia shows a higher participation rate for males than females aged 15 years and over across all occupations. However, the retail trade industry is characteristically a large employer of females, with nearly one fifth of all employed females working in the industry. In 2006, 59,700 females or 18% of average annual total female employment in South Australia worked in the retail trade industry. In contrast, 13% (53,200) of the average annual total male employment worked in this industry. Similar gender shares were observed nationally.

From another perspective, on average, just over one half (53%) of all persons employed in the retail trade industry in South Australia in 2006 were female, while just under one half (47%) were male. Again similar proportions were observed nationally.

As shown by the graph below, the female share of the average annual total retail trade industry employment in South Australia has risen from 50% to 53% in the decade to 2006 and the male share has decreased from 50% in 1996 to 47% in 2006.

AVERAGE ANNUAL EMPLOYMENT IN RETAIL TRADE, South Australia: Original

Graph: Average Annual Employment in Retail Trade, South Australia: Original
Source: Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, Nov 2006 (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003)



The proportion of SA females working in the retail trade industry – relative to all industry employment – has increased by 2 percentage points, from 16% to 18%, over the past decade. The proportion of males working in the retail trade industry has remained the same over the past decade.
OCCUPATION AND SEX

The most prominent occupation categories (using the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO)) within the retail trade industry are the three 'clerical, sales and service' workers categories (a) – although the 'clerical' component may be less relevant in an industry primarily focused on the 'sales and service' aspects. Nonetheless, on average, nearly three quarters (73%) of females employed in the retail trade industry in South Australia in 2006 were clerical, sales and service workers, slightly higher than the national level (71%). In contrast, on average, nearly one third (30%) of males employed in the retail trade industry in South Australia had this occupation, lower than the national average of 33% of males.

While the proportion of managers and administrators in the retail trade industry is relatively small (compared with other industries), the proportion of males who worked in this occupation (within retail) in 2006 was more than double (4%) that of females (2%). Similar gender shares were observed nationally.

RETAIL TRADE, By occupation, South Australia–2006: Original

Graph: Retail Trade, By occupation, South Australia–2006: Original

      (a) Includes Professionals and Associate professionals.
      (b) Includes Advanced clerical and service workers, Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers and Elementary clerical, sales and service workers.
      (c) Includes Intermediate production and transport workers, and Labourers and related workers.a) Includes Professionals and Associate professionals.

      Source: Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, Nov 2006 (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003)

PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT

The retail trade industry employs a significant proportion of part-timers. These are people who usually work between 1 and 34 hours a week. In 2006, nearly one quarter (24%) of the average annual total part-time employment in South Australia was in the retail trade industry. A similar proportion (24%) was observed nationally.

The contribution of the retail trade industry to overall state part-time employment has increased over the past decade. In terms of average annual total employment, a higher proportion of persons who worked part-time were employed in the retail industry in 2006 (24%) than in 1996 (21%).


In gender terms, throughout 2006, a slightly larger proportion of the state's males that were employed part-time (26%) worked in the retail trade industry than part-time females (23%). The corresponding proportions for Australia were very similar: on average, 26% of all males employed part-time and 24% of females employed part-time worked in the retail trade industry.

The following graph presents a time series view of male and female retail trade industry employment, in part-time and full-time terms for South Australia. Full-time employment among males and females in South Australia remained steady across the 10 year period from 1996 to 2006. However, part-time employment figures show strong growth for females from 27,100 in 1996 to 38,200 in 2006; males also showed an increase from 11,200 to 17,100 within the same period.


AVERAGE ANNUAL EMPLOYMENT IN RETAIL TRADE, South Australia: Original


FINER INDUSTRY DETAIL

Industry data from the ABS Labour Force survey can be disaggregated into smaller segments (or subdivisions). For the retail trade industry these comprise the Food retailing industry (which includes supermarket and grocery stores and specialised food retailing), the Personal and Household Goods retailing industry (includes department stores, clothing and soft goods, furniture, houseware and appliances, recreational goods and other related items) and the Motor Vehicle retailing and services industry.

In annual average terms, the major contributor to the total retail trade industry employment in South Australia in 2006 was the Personal and Household Goods retailing industry (49,000, 44%) followed by the Food retailing industry (43,000, 38%), and the Motor Vehicle retailing and services industry (19,600, 17%). Similar proportions were observed nationally, at the industry subdivision level.

FOOTNOTES

(a) Includes 'Advanced Clerical and Sales Workers', 'Intermediate Clerical, Sales and Service Workers', and 'Elementary Clerical, Sales and Service Workers'. Back

REFERENCES

Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, Nov 2006 (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003)

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