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1308.8 - In fACT - Statistical Information on the ACT and Region, Dec 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/12/2010   
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FEATURE ARTICLE: ACT RESIDENTS, GETTING OLDER AND WORKING LONGER


Introduction

While older workers have always been an important part of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) workforce, in recent years the importance of this contribution has become increasingly apparent. As the population of ACT usual residents aged 55 years and over grows, there is a concern about the pressure this will place on the ACT labour force. Increasing the labour force participation rate of older people is seen as one way to help soften the economic impacts of an ageing population.

"The fact that the ACT’s population is ageing faster than that of any other jurisdiction was known in 2004 when the Canberra Plan was first released. The significance of this trend has been further emphasised by the Commonwealth Treasury’s second Intergenerational Report, released in April 2007. This analysis found that nationally there will be a marked decrease in the ratio of working to non-working individuals, and that the anticipated fiscal gap will be around 3.5% of gross domestic product by 2046-47." (Endnote 1)

"The ACT Government has been making preparations for the impact of the ageing population on the economy and in all areas of service delivery, including health services, aged care and accommodation. The ACT Government is also examining and highlighting the many positive aspects of the population’s ageing, taking into account factors such as wider employment opportunities for older people, more flexible work practices and the potential availability of a wider pool of volunteers able to participate in all areas of the community and economy." (Endnote 1)


Participation Trends of People Aged 55 Years And Over

In the 12 months ending August 2010, there were an estimated 75,700 ACT residents aged 55 years and over, making up 26% of the ACT civilian population. Just over 40% of them (or 30,500 people) were participating in the labour force in the 12 months ending August 2010. People aged 55 years and over made up 15% of the total labour force, up from around 9% a decade earlier. The participation rate of ACT residents aged 55 years and over has increased from 32% to 40% over the last eight years.

LABOUR FORCE PARTICIPATION, People aged 55 years and over - ACT - 2000-2010(a)
Graph: LABOUR FORCE PARTICIPATION, People aged 55 years and over—ACT—2000-2010(a)

DATA SOURCE AND DEFINITIONS

This article uses data from the ABS Labour Force Survey and a number of supplementary surveys including Persons not in the Labour Force, Survey of Education and Work, Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation and Retirement and Retirement Intentions.

Older people in this article refers to people aged 55 years and over.

Labour force status is a classification of the civilian population aged 15 years and over into employed, unemployed or not in the labour force, with employed being further classified as full-time or part-time.

Labour force participation rate is the number of people in the labour force as a proportion of the civilian population aged 15 years and over.

People employed full time are those who usually work 35 hours or more a week (in all jobs), and those who, although usually working less than 35 hours a week, worked 35 hours or more during the reference week.

People employed part time are those who usually work less than 35 hours a week (in all jobs), and either did so during the reference week, or were not at work during the reference week.


Male and Female Participation

Over the past decade, the labour force participation rates among older males and females in the ACT have been increasing steadily. From the 12 months ending August 2000 to the 12 months ending August 2010, the labour force participation rate among older males has increased from 40% to 48%, while for females it has increased from 26% to 35%.

LABOUR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE, Older People - By Sex: ACT - 2000-2010(a)
Graph: LABOUR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE, Older People—By Sex: ACT—2000-2010(a)



What industries are older people in the ACT more likely to work in?

For the year to August 2010, the largest employer of older people in the ACT was the Public administration and safety industry who employed 25% of the total older people employed, followed by the Professional, scientific and technical services industry (13%), the Health care and social assistance industry (12%) and the Education and training industry (10%).

For Australia for the same period, the industry with most older people employed was the Health care and social assistance industry with 14% of total older people employed.

From the 12 months ending August 2000 to the 12 months ending August 2010, the number of older people employed in the Public administration and safety industry in the ACT more than tripled. The Professional, scientific and technical services industry (+2,300 people) and the Health care and social assistance industry (+1,800 people) also had significant increases of older people employed in the ACT over that period, while the Education and training industry saw minimal change.

EMPLOYED PERSONS(a), By Selected Industries(b) - ACT
Graph: EMPLOYED PERSONS(a), By Selected Industries(b)—ACT



What occupation are older people in the ACT more likely to work in?

For the year to August 2010, the occupation with most older people employed was Professionals with 31% of the total older people employed in the ACT, followed by Clerical and administrative workers (22%), Managers (17%) and Technicians and trade workers (8%).

For Australia for the same period, the occupation with most older people employed was also Professionals with 22% of total older people employed.

From the 12 months ending August 2000 to the 12 months ending August 2010, Professionals (+4,400 people) was the occupation that had experienced the largest increase of people employed in the ACT aged 55 and over, followed by Clerical and administrative workers (+3,500 people) and Managers (+2,600 people), while Technicians and trade workers had very little change.

EMPLOYED PERSONS(a), By Selected Occupations(b) - ACT
Graph: EMPLOYED PERSONS(a), By Selected Occupations(b)—ACT



Full-time employment

From the 12 months ending August 2000 to the 12 months ending August 2010, the proportion of older people employed full time has dropped from 68.4% to 67.8%.

For the year to August 2010, the Public administration and safety industry (30%) employed the largest proportion of older people in the ACT full-time, followed by the Professional, scientific and technical services industry (11%) and the Health care and social assistance industry (10%).

For the year to August 2010, Professionals (29%) is the occupation with the largest proportion of older people employed full-time, followed by Clerical and administrative workers (21%) and Managers (20%).


Part-time employment

With the proportion of older people employed full-time decreasing from the 12 months ending August 2000 to the 12 months ending August 2010, it shows that the increase in proportion of older people employed is due to the increase of proportion of older people employed part-time.

For the year to August 2010, the Professional, scientific and technical services industry (17%) employed the largest proportion of older people in the ACT part-time, followed by the Health care and social assistance industry (16%) and the Public administration and safety industry and the Education and training industry (both 14%).

For the year to August 2010, Professionals (37%) is the occupation with the largest proportion of older people employed part-time, followed by Clerical and administrative workers (24%).


Retirement plans

Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia (cat. no. 6238.0) presents information from the 2008-09 Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS) on retirement for people aged 45 years and over. For those who are still in the labour force, information is available about current job and retirement intentions. For those people who are not in the labour force, data items include age at retirement; reason retired; income sources in retirement, and use of any lump sum payments.

The 2008-09 MPHS revealed that people in the ACT aged 45 years and over intended to retire from the labour force at age 62.7 years, on average. This was the lowest average age of all the states and territories.

The average age at retirement of people in the ACT aged 45 years and over for 2008-09 was 53.6 years, which was similar to national average age for 2008-09 of 53.1 years. The average age at retirement for ACT males was 59.1 years, which was only second to Western Australia (59.6 years). For females, the average age at retirement is 49.6 years which was similar to the national average of 49.3 years.

RETIREMENT, Persons age 45 and over in the ACT - 2008-09
Graph: RETIREMENT, Persons age 45 and over in the ACT—2008-09



Looking forward

In the five years to June 2009, the number of older people in the ACT grew by 3.6% per year, compared with the total number of ACT people who grew by 1.5% per year. While for Australia, the population of older people have experienced an average annual growth rate of 2.9% over five years, compared with the total population who have experienced an average annual growth rate of 1.8% over the same period.

In the ACT, the number of people aged 55 years and over is projected to grow at an average rate of 2.6% per year over a 20 year period to June 2026. Currently in the ACT, people aged 55 to 64 years outnumber the people aged 65 years and over. This will change in 2012 with people aged 65 years and over outnumbering those aged 55 to 64 years. Over a 20 year period to June 2026, the number of people in the ACT aged 65 years and over is projected to grow at an average rate of 3.9% per year, while the number of people in the ACT aged 55 to 64 years is projected to grow at an average rate of 1.1% per year. (Footnote 1)

POPULATION PROJECTION(a), Australian Capital Territory
Graph: POPULATION PROJECTION(a), Australian Capital Territory


Note

1. Population estimates up to 30 June 2006 are final, estimates from September quarter 2006 to December quarter 2008 have been revised and estimates from March quarter 2009 are preliminary.


End Note

1. The Canberra Plan: Towards our Second Century, Chief Minister's Department, Page 19


Footnote

1. The population projections for this article are based on using Series B. Series B largely reflects current 2006-07 trends in fertility, life expectancy at birth, net overseas migration and net interstate migration.


Related ABS publications

Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0)

Population Projections, Australia, 2006 to 2101 (cat. no. 3222.0)

Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0)

Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia (cat. no. 6238.0)

Labour Force, Australia, Detailed (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001)

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

For more information related to this article, such as information by sex, alternate age groups, and individual state and territory comparisons, as well as a range of other statistical information please contact our National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.



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