ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
This publication presents information about the weekly earnings and employment benefits received by employees, and their trade union membership.
ABOUT THIS SURVEY
Statistics in this publication were obtained from the Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership Survey conducted throughout Australia in August 2003 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS).
Data from the survey relate to employed persons aged 15 years and over who worked in their main job for a public or private sector employer (and either received remuneration in wages or salary, received a retainer fee from their employer while working on a commission basis, or were paid in tips or piece-rates) or operated their own incorporated enterprise with or without employees.
The survey provides statistics on the distribution of weekly earnings of employees, their entitlement to paid leave (holiday, sick, long service and maternity/paternity), superannuation coverage and trade union membership. This information can be cross-classified by a range of personal characteristics such as age, sex and family type, and by characteristics of employment such as full-time or part-time status, industry and occupation.
As estimates have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.
NOTES ABOUT THE ESTIMATES
A number of changes have been made to the publication since the 2002 edition. A number of tables have been substantially changed, two tables have been added and some tables have been renumbered.
The data item 'standard benefits', which appeared in previous issues of this publication, has been replaced by the data items 'number of leave benefits' and 'type of leave benefits'. Data for 'standard benefits' are still available on request.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or David Blair on Canberra (02) 6252 7206.
Summary of findings
MEAN WEEKLY EARNINGS OF EMPLOYEES
The mean (average) weekly earnings of employees in all jobs was $734 in August 2003, an increase of 4% ($27) since August 2002. The median weekly earnings was $648 (the median is the amount which divides the distribution of employees into two equal groups, one having earnings above and the other below that amount).
Mean weekly earnings of employees in all jobs have increased from $503 in August 1993 to $734 in August 2003, an increase of almost 46% over the decade. Changes in average earnings may be affected not only by changes in the level of earnings but also by changes in the overall composition of the employee workforce, including changes in the proportions of full-time and part-time employees and in the mix of occupations and industries.
Full-time workers who were employees in their main job earned, on average, $904 per week in all their jobs, an increase of 5% since August 2002. Mean weekly earnings were $967 for male full-time workers and $790 for female full-time workers in August 2003.
Part-time workers who were employees in their main job earned, on average, $324 per week in all jobs in August 2003. Mean weekly earnings for male part-time workers was $294, a decrease of 5% since August 2002, and $334 for female part-time workers, an increase of 3% since August 2002.
EMPLOYEE LEAVE BENEFITS
In August 2003, three quarters (75%) of employees were entitled to one or more types of paid leave (holiday, sick, long service or maternity/paternity) in their main job. Those employed in the public sector were more likely to have one or more of these leave benefits than employees in the private sector (90% and 71% respectively).
The most commonly reported leave benefits were paid holiday leave (71%) and sick leave (71%), followed by long service leave (63%) and maternity/paternity (31%). In August 2003, 72% of employees were entitled to either paid holiday leave or paid sick leave, or both. This was only slightly down on the 73% reported in the previous three years.
Of the 28% of employees without paid holiday and/or sick leave entitlements in August 2003, 65% were part-time employees, 53% were female and 25% worked in the retail trade industry.
EMPLOYEES IN MAIN JOB, Leave entitlements(a)
|With leave entitlements|
|Without leave entitlements(b)|
|(a) Refers to the entitlement of employees to either paid holiday leave or paid sick leave, or both, in their main job.|
|(b) Includes persons who did not know if they were entitled to paid holiday leave and paid sick leave in their main job.|
EMPLOYEE SUPERANNUATION BENEFITS
In August 2003, 90% of employees had superannuation provided by their current employer. A higher proportion of full-time employees were provided with superannuation by their current employer than part-time employees (96% and 76% respectively). Employees in the public sector were also more likely to be provided with superannuation by their current employer (98%), than employees in the private sector (89%).
TRADE UNION MEMBERSHIP
In August 2003, there were 1,866,700 employees who were members of a trade union in conjunction with their main job. This was a 2% increase on the number recorded in August 2002. The proportion of employees who were trade union members (23%) remained the same as in August 2002.
The proportion of full-time employees who were trade union members was higher than for part-time employees (26% and 17% respectively). A higher proportion of public sector employees were trade union members (47%) than private sector employees (18%).