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6601.3 - Research Paper: Workplace Functions in Regional Labour Markets, Queensland, 1976 to 2001  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/01/2005   
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INTRODUCTION

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Where quoted or used, they should be attributed clearly to the authors: Lynne Peterson, Tracy Burns and Mark Chalmers, ABS, Queensland Office.

This study describes changes to the characteristics of the working population of 10 different regions within Queensland, as reported in each Census of Population and Housing from 1976 to 2001. Regional labour markets have differences in qualifications, income, age, hours worked and migration of workers from overseas and interstate, which are highlighted in the analysis. While the research paper provides details on these subjects for each of the 10 regions, this summary article provides only a brief glimpse of general results plus some details of the 'workplace function' classification used.


FUNCTION GROUPS

This study uses the concept of ‘workplace function’ as a basic framework to provide a comparison of data over 25 years. Recognising that similar workplace activities occur in many industries, functions combine the industry of the business with the internal division of labour within the business. Functions take into account both the type of activities performed by workers (their occupation) and how the employing firm’s business activities fit within the economy (its industry).

The function group structure particularly focusses on separating out the management, marketing, accounting and coordination tasks performed in a firm’s administration office, from the production or service tasks involved in producing the firm’s output. Self employed persons are recognised as having, in part, a similar role to managers in their administration and executive tasks. Their characteristics have been split evenly between the Management function within the Office and their industry/occupation function.

The five function groups are:

    1. Farm/mine - direct labour in agriculture, mining, fishing, logging and forestry, e.g. miners, farm labourers and gardeners.

    2. Factory - direct labour in manufacturing, construction, public utilities (gas, water, electricity) and transporting goods, e.g. tradespersons, engineers, truck drivers and production workers.

    3. Retail/personal services - direct labour involved in sales to individual consumers, e.g. retail assistants and hospitality workers in restaurants or entertainment venues. Generally, these consumer contact activities do not require highly specialised training or a large physical capital base.

    4. Social infrastructure services - direct labour in providing social infrastructure services such as education, health care and public order, e.g. teachers, doctors and police officers. The provision of these services generally requires a large investment in capital expenditure and/or specialised training. Personal transportation and communication are included in this group (e.g. pilots and radio announcers) because these services have a high requirement for physical capital (phone lines, trains, planes, etc.).

    5. Office (Administration and coordination) - labour involved in management, administrative, business and financial services, including clerical and office support services, e.g. managers, clerical workers, insurance brokers and accountants. Included in the Office are managers and one-half of business owners and supervisors; workers within the asset management industries of finance, insurance and real estate; those who provide services to businesses such as legal advice, advocacy, marketing analysis and information technology; clerical and administrative support workers and those who clean and maintain the offices; as well as most public servants and those working for non-profit organisations.
Note: The first four groups include the direct labour necessary for the production and supply of goods or services. The fifth function group brings together all the activities which contribute to managing and coordinating an economic enterprise. See the Technical Notes below for further details of the methodology employed.


EMPLOYMENT IN QUEENSLAND

The 1,554,209 employed persons in Queensland at the 2001 census was almost double the number employed in 1976 (807,994). All function groups except the Farm/mine showed increased numbers of employed persons over this period.

The largest function group in all census years was the Office, which grew from 36% to 43% of all employed persons, providing an additional 376,053 jobs. The fastest growth occurred in Retail/personal services, from 12% of employed persons in 1976 to 20% of employed persons in 2001, an additional 224,404 workers. Social infrastructure services grew by 115,936 workers, from 12% to 14% of all employed persons in the state.

1 EMPLOYED PERSONS BY FUNCTION GROUP, Queensland, 1976 to 2001
Graph: Employed Persons by Function Group, Queensland, 1976 to 2001

The Factory and Farm/mine function groups did not keep their share of total employment over the period. The Factory, which accounted for 25% of all employed persons in Queensland in 1976, decreased to 15% of all employed persons in 2001. However, the number of workers actually increased by 29,197 to 234,548. The Farm/mine function group also fell substantially over this period, declining from 8% to 4% of total employed persons with the number of workers decreasing from 66,946 to 64,834.

Males and females tended to have different workplace functions, although there were a similar numbers of both sexes in the Office in 2001. The great majority of workers in the Factory and Farm/mine were males, whereas more females than males worked within Social infrastructure services and Retail/personal services.

2 EMPLOYED PERSONS BY SEX BY FUNCTION GROUP, Queensland, 2001
Graph: Employed Persons by sex by Function Group, Queensland, 2001


THE FARM/MINE

The Farm/mine function group in Queensland consisted mainly of workers in the agriculture industry (75%) in 2001, but another 20% of workers were employed in the mining industry and a smaller proportion were gardeners, greenkeepers and nurserypersons. These proportions vary considerably across the different regions of the state, with mine workers dominating the figures in the North West Statistical Division (SD) and representing a significant proportion in the Fitzroy SD and Mackay SD.

The agriculture industry tended to have many self-employed workers, half of whose characteristics have been put into the Office function group; the mining industry had a higher proportion of employees. The contrast in agricultural enterprises between regions - from large cattle runs in the western regions to sugar cane farms, orchards and fisheries in the coastal regions, to nurseries, market gardens and city parks in the Brisbane-Moreton region - contributes to substantial variations in characteristics across regions. Both commodity markets and weather phenomenon can also influence the data in a time-series.

The Farm/mine was the only function group where the Queensland workforce decreased in size between 1976 and 2001. The fall was marginal at the state level (3%) but three western regions recorded declines of over 20%. Two regions (with large coal mining industries) increased their Farm/mine workforce by over 20%.

The average age of Farm/mine workers increased at a rate similar to those in the rest of the Queensland economy, although in some regions the average age may indicate future labour shortages. The average number of hours worked was the highest of any function group and increased over time; although long working hours are a tradition in this workplace, labour shortages may be indicated by this increase. The proportion of Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications amongst workers in this group nearly doubled, however, a number of regions had much larger increases, though from a lower base.

There was a surprisingly high degree of mobility evident in the more remote regions in the Farm/mine group. In 2001, two regions recorded over 30% of Farm/mine workers had lived outside the region in 1996. Other regions within Queensland were the main source of these workers. Overseas migration to work on the Farm/mine was very small but up to 10% of workers in remote areas had come from other states.

3 EMPLOYED PERSONS BY REGION(a), The Farm/mine
1976
1981
1986
1991
1996
2001
Change
1976 to 2001
Region
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
%

Brisbane-Moreton(b)
12,565
12,688
12,940
11,950
13,946
13,982
11.3
Wide Bay-Burnett SD
8,869
7,976
7,813
7,607
8,150
8,338
-6.0
Darling Downs SD
10,643
9,058
9,349
8,585
8,444
8,496
-20.2
South West SD
3,123
2,759
2,967
2,911
2,474
2,674
-14.4
Fitzroy SD
6,837
7,422
7,995
7,139
7,435
6,657
-2.6
Central West SD
1,811
1,862
1,594
1,544
1,279
1,397
-22.9
Mackay SD
6,724
7,546
8,355
8,512
8,945
8,289
23.3
Northern SD
3,815
3,593
3,316
4,047
4,539
4,599
20.5
Far North SD
6,620
6,653
5,998
6,205
7,019
6,526
-1.4
North West SD
5,916
5,688
5,027
4,838
4,095
3,239
-45.3
Queensland(c)
66,946
65,282
65,392
63,491
67,022
64,834
-3.2

(a) Regions are defined by their June 2001 boundaries.
(b) Brisbane SD and Moreton SD combined.
(c) Including Off-shore Areas and Migratory and persons not able to be classified to a statistical division.
Source: Census of Population and Housing, 1976 to 2001.


THE FACTORY

The Factory function group consists of workers who labour directly toward the production of goods, the storage and transport of goods, or the production of infrastructure such as roads, electricity and buildings. These workplace situations share similar organisational structures and skill levels. Small self-employed businesses are common amongst tradespersons in this function group, and half of their characteristics are attributed to the Office function group.

As a proportion of all employed persons in Queensland, the Factory declined in importance from 25% to 15% between 1976 and 2001. Geographic variation within this function group occurs as a result of the different economic drivers within regions (e.g. cane crushing and wharf work in coastal areas, house and office construction in the Brisbane-Moreton region, construction and fabrication work for the mining industry). Employment in the factory became more concentrated in the Brisbane-Moreton, region with the proportion of all Factory workers accounted for by that area increasing from 61% to 66% between 1976 and 2001.

During the period 1976 to 2001, growth in employment in the Factory was modest when compared to the overall growth in the labour market. Industrial policy opened manufacturing to greater competition, bringing about a restructure of industry. The Factory adapted to the changes taking place in the economy, increasing its skill profile and keeping a fairly young workforce, while incomes increased moderately.

4 EMPLOYED PERSONS BY REGION(a), The Factory
1976
1981
1986
1991
1996
2001
Change
1976 to 2001
Region
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
%

Brisbane-Moreton(b)
124,343
126,009
118,830
122,445
142,836
154,164
24.0
Wide Bay-Burnett SD
13,883
12,056
10,839
11,118
12,197
12,457
-10.3
Darling Downs SD
12,650
11,427
11,385
10,981
12,255
13,650
7.9
South West SD
2,078
1,328
1,611
1,388
1,167
1,545
-25.7
Fitzroy SD
14,031
14,813
15,104
13,339
13,821
14,802
5.5
Central West SD
994
609
667
579
573
698
-29.7
Mackay SD
9,040
9,038
9,055
8,812
10,455
10,008
10.7
Northern SD
14,876
12,878
11,610
10,589
11,659
12,579
-15.4
Far North SD
10,857
10,370
9,338
9,523
12,389
11,609
6.9
North West SD
2,478
2,013
1,941
1,825
1,926
2,206
-11.0
Queensland(c)
205,351
200,703
190,523
190 ,919
220,308
234,548
14.2

(a) Regions are defined by their June 2001 boundaries.
(b) Brisbane SD and Moreton SD combined.
(c) Including Off-shore Areas and Migratory and persons not able to be classified to a statistical division.
Source: Census of Population and Housing, 1976 to 2001.


RETAIL/PERSONAL SERVICES

Workers in the Retail/personal services function group provide a large variety of services directly to individual consumers. Retailing varies from small self-employed shops to large chain stores in main centres. Personal services include hospitality and entertainment workers, as well as automotive tradespersons and hairdressers. Half of the characteristics of self-employed workers in Retail/personal services are attributed to the Office function group.

Employment in Retail/personal services tripled between 1976 and 2001, from 98,906 to 323,310. As a proportion of all employed persons in Queensland, Retail/personal services grew in importance from 12% to 21%. The size of this function group is more dependent on population numbers than on a region’s primary or secondary production. The fastest growing regions were the Far North SD, Brisbane-Moreton, Northern SD and Mackay SD, regions with strong population growth and tourism industries.

In 2001, workers in Retail/personal services were the youngest of all function groups, they worked fewer hours and earned the least income. Retail/personal services was also the fastest growing amongst all function groups and in general the growth was stronger for females.

There have been several changes responsible for the changing place of Retail/personal services in the economy. In 1971 young people could often start working in a career directly from school; by 2001 post-secondary education was often required before commencing a career. For a large number of young people Retail/personal services became a transitional workplace supporting them through study or training. The opening up of the labour market and deregulation of shopping hours created a new market for workers. Population growth and growth in the hospitality industry also contributed to the growth in opportunities.

5 EMPLOYED PERSONS BY REGION(a), Retail/personal services
1976
1981
1986
1991
1996
2001
Change
1976 to 2001
Region
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
%

Brisbane-Moreton(b)
60,493
85,608
111,924
140,138
184,226
219,540
262.9
Wide Bay-Burnett SD
6,479
8,326
9,615
11,042
14,562
16,740
158.4
Darling Downs SD
7,045
9,491
10,736
12,214
14,114
16,475
133.8
South West SD
1,121
1,331
1,441
1,675
1,628
1,905
70.0
Fitzroy SD
5,891
8,079
9,644
10,819
13,464
14,668
149.0
Central West SD
578
661
666
782
695
843
46.0
Mackay SD
4,282
5,922
7,353
8,615
10,641
11,561
170.0
Northern SD
6,079
8,263
10,741
12,614
15,013
16,896
178.0
Far North SD
5,456
7,466
10,599
14,300
20,495
21,581
295.5
North West SD
1,465
1,785
2,016
2,227
2,248
2,343
60.0
Queensland(c)
98,906
137,009
174,779
214,733
278,105
323,310
226.9

(a) Regions are defined by their June 2001 boundaries.
(b) Brisbane SD and Moreton SD combined.
(c) Including Off-shore Areas and Migratory and persons not able to be classified to a statistical division.
Source: Census of Population and Housing, 1976 to 2001.


SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICES

The Social infrastructure services function group consists of those who provide services such as health, education, security and personal transport to the community. The majority are nurses and teachers, but includes doctors, chemists and other health professionals; University, TAFE and other education professionals; as well as aides, cleaners and maintenance workers in hospitals, clinics, schools and campuses. Also included in this function group are police officers, security guards and fire-fighters; airline, bus and train personnel and taxi drivers; as well as journalists and other media workers.

Social infrastructure services more than doubled in size between 1976 and 2001. Regional variation in the size and growth of this function group was dependent on population growth and changes in the provision of services to regions. The fastest growth amongst regions in the number of persons working in Social infrastructure services occurred in the Far North SD, Brisbane-Moreton and Mackay SD, regions with strong population growth. Regions with slower growth in Social infrastructure services jobs were regions with slower population growth. The South West SD, North West SD and Central West SD each had decreasing population between 1976 and 2001, but the number of persons employed in Social infrastructure services increased by more than 20% in these regions.

The importance of Social infrastructure services as a workplace for females is notable, particularly in non-metropolitan regions. This function group also provided opportunities for part-time work, with approximately one third of workers working less than 35 hours a week in 2001. Social infrastructure services, along with the Farm/mine, recorded the highest average age and had ‘aged’ faster than any other function group.

Higher education qualifications increased significantly in this function group, while the proportion of workers with VET qualifications was steady. Regional variation in the qualifications profile was fairly small in 2001, reflecting the mandatory training arrangements governing employment within these functions. Generally, incomes in Social infrastructure services did not vary markedly across regions (see table 6.8). Significant numbers of workers, particularly in Brisbane-Moreton and the northern regions of the state, came from interstate, and to a smaller extent overseas.

6 EMPLOYED PERSONS BY REGION(a), Social infrastructure services
1976
1981
1986
1991
1996
2001
Change
1976 to 2001
Region
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
%

Brisbane-Moreton(b)
61,276
76,737
91,441
104,506
128,407
142,902
133.2
Wide Bay-Burnett SD
5,439
6,598
7,586
8,218
10,153
10,851
99.5
Darling Downs SD
7,076
8,302
9,403
10,404
12,304
12,851
81.6
South West SD
1,239
1,355
1,362
1,373
1,616
1,528
23.3
Fitzroy SD
5,279
6,613
7,799
8,456
9,695
9,998
89.4
Central West SD
574
686
708
682
712
757
31.9
Mackay SD
2,802
3,789
4,754
5,157
6,137
6,523
132.8
Northern SD
5,777
7,288
9,104
9,622
11,250
11,998
107.7
Far North SD
4,893
6,206
7,644
9,251
11,075
12,037
146.0
North West SD
1,362
1,603
1,794
1,880
1,701
1,780
30.7
Queensland(c)
95,741
119,247
141,639
159,741
193,601
211,677
121.1

(a) Regions are defined by their June 2001 boundaries.
(b) Brisbane SD and Moreton SD combined.
(c) Including Off-shore Areas and Migratory and persons not able to be classified to a statistical division.
Source: Census of Population and Housing, 1976 to 2001.


THE OFFICE

The Office function group consists of all management activities, in both public and private sectors. Usually working from an office desk, workers in this group provide the organisation, coordination, finance and administration within the economy. They may be employed by firms which specialise in providing such services to businesses or individuals, or they may work within the administrative section of firms in any industry. While the city high-rise landscape makes more obvious the contribution of the Office function group in metropolitan areas, the group also makes a large contribution to regional economies, which often goes unnoticed.

Included in the Office are managers and one-half of business owners and supervisors; workers within the asset management industries of finance, insurance and real estate; those who provide services to businesses such as legal advice, advocacy, marketing analysis and information technology; clerical and administrative support workers and those who clean and maintain the offices; as well as most public servants and those working for non-profit organisations. (See Technical Notes for further details.)

Note: Many self-employed workers have been split evenly between the Management function within the Office and their industry/occupation function. Consequently, in 2001 in Queensland, 56% of workers with a Management function were self-employed.

In 1976, the Office was the largest function group in all regions except the North West SD and Central West SD; by 2001 it was the largest function group in all regions. It had grown strongly in size in all regions, with the fastest growth in the Far North SD and Brisbane-Moreton region. The proportion of the total labour force working in the Office increasing from 36% to 43%.

Income growth for Office workers differed between regions, reflecting different economic drivers and mixtures of functions within the Office. Generally, income grew strongly where population growth and/or business conditions were favourable (e.g. strong Farm/mine income).

The proportion of workers with higher education qualifications also differed between regions, with the Brisbane-Moreton region being the most qualified. Over the period there were increasing educational qualifications among Office workers. With career entry points delayed until the completion of post-secondary education, the average age of Office workers increased. There was also an increased proportion of older workers in the Office.

In 2001, from 18% to 29% of Office workers had lived in a different region in 1996. Most of these recent arrivals came from other regions within the state, with the exception of Brisbane-Moreton which gained a larger proportion from interstate.

7 EMPLOYED PERSONS BY REGION(a), The Office
1976
1981
1986
1991
1996
2001
Change
1976 to 2001
Region
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
%

Brisbane-Moreton(b)
186,520
218,791
257,222
317,250
396,835
466,637
150.2
Wide Bay-Burnett SD
16,740
17,343
19,705
22,160
27,224
29,447
75.9
Darling Downs SD
21,619
22,919
25,815
26,739
30,325
34,040
57.5
South West SD
3,678
3,974
4,561
4,561
4,599
5,029
36.7
Fitzroy SD
14,461
17,462
19,918
22,437
26,013
27,979
93.5
Central West SD
1,799
2,062
2,169
2,116
2,235
2,379
32.2
Mackay SD
10,001
11,870
14,580
16,206
19,566
21,286
112.8
Northern SD
20,496
22,104
24,852
27,221
31,957
35,191
71.7
Far North SD
14,994
16,523
20,903
28,724
37,203
41,079
174.0
North West SD
4,091
4,277
4,781
4,853
5,730
6,149
50.3
Queensland(c)
294,497
337,449
394,632
472,737
583,662
670,550
127.7

(a) Regions are defined by their June 2001 boundaries.
(b) Brisbane SD and Moreton SD combined.
(c) Including Off-shore Areas and Migratory and persons not able to be classified to a statistical division.
Source: Census of Population and Housing, 1976 to 2001.


ABBREVIATIONS

SD Statistical Division


TECHNICAL NOTES

The concept of workplace functions was developed by the USA authors Carnevale and Rose and published in the 1998 Education for What? The New Office Economy Technical Report. The five highly aggregated function groups they defined are equivalent to those in this Australian study, although there have been some changes in names.

The 15 functions they defined provides the basis for this Australian study and have been replicated as far a practical, resulting in 13 functions. The differences being:
  • It is not possible to replicate the distinction between ‘High wage manufacturing’ and ‘Low wage manufacturing’, and these have been combined into one ‘Manufacturing’ category.
  • The two small categories of ‘Police and firefighters’ and ‘Transport and communication for personal consumption’ have been combined into the one ‘Security and communication’ category.


Function groupsFunctions

1. Farm/mine F1. Farm/mine
2. Factory F2. Manufacturing
F3. Construction and transport
3. Retail/Personal services F4. Personal services
F5. Retail services
4. Social infrastructure services F6. Health care
F7. Education
F8. Security and communication
5. Office F9. Management
F10. Finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE)
F11. Business professionals
F12. Office support
F13. Public administration



THE CREATION OF FUNCTION CODES

The functions used in this study are a composite grouping of more traditional labour force classification categories. An individual’s function is determined from the industry, occupation and status in employment of their main job, as coded from their responses to census questions.

Unit records of employed persons are first coded into 21 function-oriented groups according to their occupation coding (4-digit ASCO unit groups) and status in employment (self-employed or not). These groupings are more aligned to economic function than the skill-based ASCO groups.

Employed persons are then assigned to a function category according to both their occupation/self-employment grouping and their employer’s industry (2-digit ANZSIC subdivision code). Each of the combinations within this cross-matrix is assigned to one of 13 function categories. These 13 functions are further summarised into five function groups.



DECISION RULES FOR DEFINING FUNCTIONS

1. The Farm/mine includes all the direct labour in agriculture, mining, fishing, forestry and logging.

2. The Factory is defined broadly to include all direct labour in manufacturing, construction, public utilities (gas, water, electricity) and the transport and storage of goods on their way to market. The construction and transport component performed by truck drivers, electricity line repairers, construction and warehouse workers is included in this function group because the organisation of work and skill levels are similar.

3. Retail/personal services represents those activities with direct consumer contact that do not require highly specialised training or a large physical capital base. In general, these personal contact jobs can be staffed flexibly by newcomers and part-timers. More than any other function group, this category includes jobs with few opportunities for high pay and progression up a career ladder. There are exceptions, however. While entertainment companies are staffed mainly by ushers and ticket takers, they also employ those on the stage, such as actors and performers.

As distinct from sales assistants, sales representatives are not included in Retail/personal services because they are business professionals who promote their company’s output to other companies. They are allocated to the Office function group.

4. Social infrastructure services consists of consumer services that require the effort of more specialised labour. The two major professional services that fall into this function group are health care and education. Individual skill levels within any function may be quite diverse, as it includes medical doctors and academics as well as hospital orderlies and school cleaners.

The ‘Security and communication’ category within this group consists of two groups:
(a) Police officers and fire-fighters also perform a high-skilled service concerned with social infrastructure. Although they are usually employed within the public sector, they have been assigned to the Social infrastructure services function group, while other public administration workers were placed in the Office.
(b) Travel and communication services do not fall easily into either Retail/personal services or Social infrastructure services. The physical capital requirements are high (e.g. phone lines, planes, trains) and a range of skills are required. They are allocated to the Social infrastructure services function group.

5. The Office consists of all workers involved in management, administration, business and financial services. This function group consists of five components:
(a) Managers in most industries, one-half of supervisors involved in coordinating and supervising activities (from all firms) (see point 7) and one-half of self-employed persons in "non-professional" occupations (see point 8);
(b) Employees of firms which specialise in managing assets (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate);
(c) Business professionals employed in the managerial hierarchy. These include sales representatives, marketing analysts, accountants, lawyers, editors, graphic designers, Information Technology specialists or other professionals servicing a firm’s business activities (from all firms);
(d) Office support staff, primarily clerical and administrative, as well as other office help such as cleaners and couriers (from all firms);
(e) Employees of public administration and non-profit social service institutions who perform coordinating functions at the communal level.

6. Managers who work in industries concerned with retail, accommodation, restaurants, business services, media, sport, recreation and personal services are treated as 'supervisors'. The reason for this differentiation according to industry is because the role of a manager in a service industry is predominantly supervisory whereas the role of a manager in the balance of industries includes more discretionary decision making.

7. Supervisors and foremen do both production/service work and coordination work, and have been treated as special cases. The characteristics of those who fall into such occupation groups are divided equally between their relevant production/service function group and the Office, the same assignment used by Carnevale and Rose. The 50:50 split of their characteristics between the Office and their industry-based function group provides some consistent recognition of their dual role.

8. Using the extra variable ‘Status in Employment’, individuals with a ‘non-professional’ occupation (e.g. builder, hairdresser) who are self-employed are treated similarly to supervisors. Because of their dual function as managers and direct production workers, their characteristics are assigned equally between the function of ‘Management’ within the Office and their industry/occupation function.

Self-employed professionals are not split between functions, but are treated identically to employed professionals. The nature of the professions make it impractical to separate administration and coordination activities from other tasks. ‘Self-employment’ in these cases is more of a description of a contractual relationship between the worker and the business, rather than indicating the extra managerial functions carried out by non-professionals who are self-employed.

9. There are some other industry/occupation combinations which were split into two function groups. For example some tradespersons, technicians and operatives in the ‘Transport and storage’ industry (specifically ANZSIC subdivisions 61, 64 & 65) are split between the ‘Security and communication’ function and the ‘Office support’ function. This identifies the different functions performed by tradespersons, technicians and operatives in these industries.


EXAMPLES OF ASSIGNMENT TO FUNCTION CATEGORIES


EXAMPLE 1 Assignment of 'professional' workers to function groups

OccupationIndustryFunction group

Nurse Health services Social infrastructure services
Nurse Education Social infrastructure services
Nurse Government administration Office
Teacher Education Social infrastructure services
Teacher Manufacturing Social infrastructure services
Teacher Finance and insurance Office
Manager Health services Office
Manager Education Office



EXAMPLE 2 Assignment of 'non-professional' workers to function groups
OccupationIndustryStatus in employmentFunction group

Bricklayer Construction Employee Factory
Bricklayer Construction Self-employed 50% Factory, 50% Office
Bricklayer Electricity and Gas Supply Self-employed 50% Factory, 50% Office
Cleaner Construction Employee Factory
Cleaner Construction Self-employed 50% Factory, 50% Office
Cleaner Health Services Employee Social infrastructure services
Cleaner Health Services Self-employed 50% Social infrastructure services, 50% Office



Note: The variable ‘Status in employment’ enables the characteristics of individuals with a non-professional occupation who are self-employed to be split between two functions. Because of their dual role as managers and direct production workers, their characteristics are assigned equally between the Office function group and their industry/occupation function group.


RELATING DIFFERENT CLASSIFICATIONS

Production of Australian data similar to that used in the USA study involved creating a link between the different industry, occupation and self-employment classifications used by the two countries. Similar categories were aligned by reference to the classifications and associated reference material.

To produce comparable Australian data from 1976 to 2001 required creating further linkages, as both industry and occupation classifications had changed over the 25 years. The conceptual change between the occupation classifications resulted in some of the occupational codes being problematic to concord. Linking industry classifications for the time series proved to be less problematic, as they had remained relatively stable at the subdivision level.

Inevitably, some loss in accuracy results from such concordances, the extent of which is hard to measure. The highly aggregated nature of the final groups used in this study should reduce the extent of aberrations caused by concording different classifications.


OCCUPATION CLASSIFICATIONS

In the Census, a worker's occupation refers to the type of work performed in the main job held during the week prior to census night. The hundreds of occupations recognised in standard occupation classifications are grouped according to similarity in type of work. In the classifications used from 1986 onwards this was defined in terms of skill level and skill specialisation.

Occupational classifications used for recording Australian census information have varied over the 25 years of this study:
  • 1976 and 1981: Classification and Classified List of Occupations (CCLO)
  • 1986 and 1991: Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO)
  • 1996 and 2001: ASCO second edition.

  • To produce comparable data over a 25 year period, occupation data from each Australian census was concorded with the current classification.

    There are many conceptual differences between CCLO and ASCO, particularly in relation to skill levels. For example, in CCLO managerial classification levels are broken up by industry. The degree to which such issues affect the validity of the time series comparison is difficult to quantify.

    To replicate the original Carnevale and Rose definitions, a concordance was created between the USA 1990 Census Occupational Codes and the current Australian occupational classification (ASCO second edition).


    INDUSTRY CLASSIFICATIONS

    Industry classifications aim to identify groupings of businesses which carry out similar economic activity. In the census, a person’s industry of employment describes the industry of their employer.

    Industry classifications in Australia have been relatively stable at the subdivision level since 1976. The 1976 census used the preliminary edition of the Australian Standard Industrial Classification (ASIC 1969). There were some minor changes to ASIC in 1978 and again in 1983 that were used in the 1981 and 1986 censuses accordingly. With the introduction of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) for the 1996 census, there were more changes made to the classification structure, however at the two-digit level it is possible to achieve reasonable intercensal comparability for the purposes of this study.

    Carnevale and Rose used the 1990 USA classification Census Industry Codes, which was concorded to the ANZSIC two-digit classification. The grouping of USA codes used by Carnevale and Rose was not completely replicable in the Australian data as there was insufficient industry differentiation at the subdivision level of ANZSIC.
    • There was a problem distinguishing the industries associated with High Wage Manufacturing and Low Wage Manufacturing. These two categories have been combined into one Manufacturing category in this research paper.
    • To allow for better replication of the Carnevale and Rose functions, industry definitions were created below the ANZSIC subdivision level in two cases: 57.1 (Eating places), 57.2 (Accommodation), and 78.1 (Legal services) and 78.2 (Other business services).


    STATUS IN EMPLOYMENT

    This data item is used to enable the dual function of self-employed workers (as both managers and direct production workers) to be recognised. In some occupations a distinction is made between:
    • self-employed workers, i.e. their status in employment was either ‘Employer’ or ‘Own account workers’ (called ‘Self-employed’ from 1976 to 1991); and
    • other workers, who were classified as ‘Employees’ (called ‘Wage and salary earner’ from 1976 to 1991) or ‘Contributing family workers’ (called ‘Unpaid helper’ from 1976 to 1991)

    Note: this is different from the standard output of Status in Employment, in which ‘Contributing family workers’ would be classified as self-employed.

    For example, in 2001 those with an occupation of Florist (ASCO 4984) in the Retail Trade (ANZSIC 52) were considered to have a Retail services function if they were ‘Employees’ or ‘Contributing family workers’; but if they were ‘Employers’ or ‘Own account workers’ their characteristics were split equally between the Retail services and Management functions.

    Status in employment and the categories within it have had some name changes, but the four categories for employed persons have remained essentially similar since 1976. In 1996, however, a slight variation of questions was asked, resulting in a different coding for some persons who were self-employed in a limited liability company. The 2001 census reverted to the wording used in previous years. The change in the question in 1996 resulted in an understating of the number of self-employed workers (17.4% of employed persons in 1991, 8.3% in 1996 and 17.0% in 2001). This would have reduced the size of the Office function group in 1996, with slightly increased numbers in other function groups.

    There is some doubt about how persons who are self-employed in small limited liability companies actually answer the census questions on status in employment. Some studies have shown an almost equal split between their resulting categorisation as ‘Own account workers’ or ‘Employees’. As this distinction has been used to add into the Management function half the characteristics of ‘Own account workers’ within some occupations, it is possible that the size of the Management function has been understated.

    The USA and Australia have similar definitions relating to employment status, resulting in a comparable definition of self-employed and other workers.

    RELATIONSHIP OF INDUSTRIES AND OCCUPATIONS TO FUNCTION GROUPS, Queensland, 2001.

    Farm/mine
    • Major industries: Dominated by the ANZSIC Division ‘Agriculture, forestry and fishing’ (75%); another 20% were employed in ‘Mining’.
    • Major occupations: 35% of workers had occupations within the ASCO category ‘Farmers and farm managers’; another 29% were ‘Labourers and related workers’.
    Factory
    • Major industries: 51% were employed within the ANZSIC Division ‘Manufacturing’; 28% were employed in ‘Construction’ industries.
    • Major occupations: 39% of workers were ‘Tradespersons and related workers’ in the ASCO classification (e.g. ‘Construction tradespersons’ and ‘Mechanical and fabrication engineering tradespersons’); 25% were classified ‘Intermediate production and transport workers’ (e.g. ‘Plant operators’ and ‘Machine operators’); another 20% were ‘Labourers and related workers’.
    Retail/personal services
    • Major industries: 59% of employment was in the ANZSIC division ‘Retail trade’; another 16% was in ‘Accommodation, cafes and restaurants’.
    • Major occupations: 36% of workers were classified as ‘Elementary clerical, sales and service workers’ in ASCO (mainly ‘Elementary sales workers’); another 15% are categorised in each of the two major groups ‘Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers’ (e.g. ‘Hospitality workers’) and ‘Tradespersons and related workers’ (e.g. ‘Automotive tradespersons’).
      Social infrastructure services
      • Major industries: Workers in the ANZSIC Divisions ‘Health and community services’ (42%) and ‘Education’ (38%) dominate this group.
      • Major occupations: This group is dominated by the 66% of workers in the ASCO major group ‘Professionals’ (e.g. ‘Nursing professionals’ and ‘School teachers’).
        Office
        • Major industries: Comprised of workers from many industries, but the largest ANZSIC Division was ‘Property and business services’ (24%); another 10% worked in ‘Government administration and defence’.
        • Major occupations: 26% had occupations within the ASCO Major group ‘Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers’ (e.g. ‘Receptionists’, ‘Keyboard operators’); a further 17% in each of the major groups ‘Managers and administrators’ (e.g. ‘Sales and marketing managers’) and ‘Associate professionals’ (e.g. ‘Finance associate professionals’); and 16% in ‘Professionals’ (e.g. ‘Computing professionals’).

        Other
        • When either of the variables industry or occupation were unavailable the record was included in the "Other" category of functions.
        • If a regional indicator was unavailable the record was included in the "Other" category at the state level of geography.

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