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6306.0 - Employee Earnings and Hours, Australia, May 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/03/2005   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


OVERVIEW

This publication contains statistics on the composition and distribution of earnings and hours paid for, of employees, as well as information on how employees' pay is set - by award only, collective agreement or individual arrangement. The statistics are based on the Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (EEH) conducted in respect of May 2004.

Diagram: Employee proportions



COMPOSITION AND DISTRIBUTION OF EARNINGS AND HOURS

Composition: In May 2004, average weekly total earnings was $756.50 for all employees, $897.50 for male employees and $611.50 for female employees. Average weekly total earnings was $974.10 for full-time adult employees and $371.20 for all part-time employees. Overtime payments accounted for 3.8% of average weekly total earnings of all employees and 5.3% of average weekly total earnings of full-time non-managerial employees.

Graph: Average weekly total earnings


Sector: Average weekly total earnings of employees in the public sector was higher than for the private sector, in all managerial and non-managerial employee categories except full-time non-managerial juniors.

Industry: Average weekly total earnings of all employees was highest in the Mining industry ($1,534.80) and lowest in the Retail trade ($449.00) and Accommodation, cafes and restaurants ($459.90) industries.

Occupation: Among major occupation groups, Managers and administrators had the highest average weekly total earnings ($1502.10) while Elementary clerical, sales and service workers had the lowest ($384.70).

States and territories: The average weekly total earnings of all employees was highest in the Australian Capital Territory ($855.50) and lowest in Tasmania ($617.60).

FULL-TIME ADULT NON-MANAGERIAL EMPLOYEES

In May 2004, average weekly total earnings was $915.70 for all full-time adult non-managerial employees ($974.90 for male employees and $828.00 for female employees). For this category of employee, average weekly total hours paid for was 39.5 hours (40.5 hours for males, 38.2 hours for females). The average hourly earnings for all full-time adult non-managerial employees was $23.20.

Sector: The average weekly total hours paid for was higher in the private sector than in the public sector (40.0 and 38.3 hours respectively). In contrast, the average hourly total earnings was higher in the public sector compared with the private sector ($26.10 and $22.20 respectively).

Industry: Average weekly total hours paid for was highest in the Mining industry (45.3 hours) for all full-time adult non-managerial employees and lowest in Government administration and defence (37.6 hours) and Education (37.6 hours) industries. The Mining industry also had the highest average hourly earnings ($33.70) for full-time adult non-managerial employees while the lowest was in the Accommodation, cafes and restaurants ($17.50) and Retail trade ($17.90) industries.

Graph: Average weekly total earnings, Industry



Occupation: Among the major occupation groups, Intermediate production and transport workers had the highest average weekly total hours paid for (42.9 hours), and Advanced clerical and service workers had the lowest average weekly total hours paid for (37.9 hours). The ratio of female to male average weekly total earnings for full-time adult non-managerial employees was highest for Managers and administrators (91.7%) and lowest for Tradespersons and related workers (72.5%) and Intermediate production and transport workers (72.6%).

Graph: Average weekly total earnings, Occupation



States and territories: Average weekly total earnings for full-time adult non-managerial employees was highest in New South Wales ($955.80) and Western Australia ($947.40) and lowest in Tasmania ($833.50). For this group of employees, the average weekly total hours paid for was highest in Western Australia (40.6 hours - 38.9 ordinary time hours and 1.7 overtime hours), and lowest in the Australian Capital Territory (38.2 hours - 37.4 ordinary time hours and 0.7 overtime hours).

PAY SETTING METHODS

Information on the methods of setting pay for employees refers to how the main part of an employee's pay was set in the survey reference period. Employees classified to 'award only' had their rate of pay specified by an award and were not paid more than that rate of pay. Employees classified to the collective agreement category had the main part of their pay set by a registered or unregistered collective agreement, or an enterprise award.

Those in the individual arrangement category include employees who had the main part of their pay set by an individual contract, registered individual agreement (e.g Australian Workplace Agreement), common law contract, or an agreement to receive overaward payments. Working proprietors of incorporated businesses are also included in the individual arrangement category.

All employees

The most common methods of setting pay for all employees were registered collective agreement (38.3%), unregistered individual arrangement (31.2%) and award only (20.0%). Unregistered collective agreement (2.6%) and registered individual agreement (2.4%) were the least common methods of setting pay. The remaining 5.4% of employees were working proprietors of incorporated businesses.

Graph: Methods of setting pay


In the private sector, the most common method of setting pay was unregistered individual arrangement (38.5%), while in the public sector it was registered collective agreement (91.8%).

The most common methods of setting pay for full-time employees were collective agreement (41.5%) and individual arrangement (38.9%). For part-time employees, collective agreement (39.7%) and award only (34.3%) were the most common methods of setting pay.

For permanent or fixed term employees, the most common method of setting pay was collective agreement (43.9%) while for casual employees, the most common method of setting pay was by award only (45.1%).

The award only method of setting pay for employees was highest in the Accommodation, cafes and restaurant industry (60.1%). The collective agreement method was highest in the Government administration and defence industry (89.3%), and the individual arrangement method was highest in the Wholesale trade industry (61.8%).

Among the major occupation groups, the award only method of setting pay was highest for Elementary clerical, sales and service workers and Labourers and related workers (39.9% and 37.9% respectively). The collective agreement method was highest for Professionals (55.8%) and the individual arrangement method was highest for Advanced clerical and service workers (51.8%).

South Australia had the highest proportion of employees whose pay was set by award only (26.2%). The Australian Capital Territory had the highest proportion of employees whose pay was set by collective agreement (55.6%). Western Australia had the highest proportion of employees whose pay was set by individual arrangement (41.8%).

JURISDICTION

The jurisdiction of a registered collective or individual agreement is based on the federal or state industrial tribunal or authority which has certified, approved or registered the agreement. Thus an employee may be covered by either a federal or state registered agreement (individual or collective) depending on the circumstances that prevail in the workplace. See Glossary for more information.

At the Australian level, 26.7% of all employees had their pay set by federal registered agreement. This compares with 13.9% of employees who had their pay set by state registered agreement. The Australian Capital Territory (57.5%) had the highest proportion of employees who had their pay set by federal registered agreement, while New South Wales (17.4%) and Queensland (17.8%) had the lowest.

Queensland (22.6%), Tasmania (20.8%) and South Australia (20.3%) had the highest proportion of employees who had their pay set by state registered collective agreement, while Western Australia (15.2%) and New South Wales (18.6%) had the lowest.

Graph: Methods of setting pay, Jurisdiction



DISTRIBUTION OF EARNINGS BY PAY SETTING METHOD

The median weekly total earnings for full-time adult non-managerial employees who had their pay set by award only was $625.00. This compares with median weekly total earnings of $904.00 for full-time adult non-managerial employees who had their pay set by collective agreement and median weekly total earnings of $814.00 for full-time adult non-managerial employees who had their pay set by individual arrangement.

Graph: Methods of setting pay, Distribution




NOTES


ABOUT THE PUBLICATION

This publication contains estimates obtained from a sample survey of employers conducted in respect of May 2004. Preliminary estimates were published in Employee Earnings and Hours, Australia, Preliminary, May 2004 (cat.no.6305.0.55.001), which was released on 8 December 2004.

The survey is designed to provide statistics on the composition and distribution of earnings and hours paid for, of employees, and how their pay is set.

NOTES ON ESTIMATES

Care should be taken when comparing estimates of average weekly earnings in this publication with those published quarterly in Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, (cat.no.6302.0) because of methodological differences between the two surveys and differences in the two samples used. For more information on these differences see paragraph 25 of the Explanatory Notes.

The estimates in this publication may differ from the preliminary data in Employee Earnings and Hours, Australia, Preliminary, May 2004 (cat.no.6305.0.55.001).

ABS DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

In addition to the information contained in this publication, a range of unpublished data is available on request. For more information on unpublished data refer to the Appendix.

SAMPLING ERRORS

For information on sampling errors refer to the Technical Note.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact Brad Pottinger on 08 9360 5305 or the National Information Service on 1300 135 070.


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