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6310.0 - Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia, August 2009 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/05/2010   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


OVERVIEW

In August 2009, there were 9.3 million employees (4.9 million men and 4.4 million women) in their main job. Of these, 69% were full-time employees in their main job (84% of male employees and 53% of female employees). Other characteristics of employees include:

  • 70% were full-time workers when taking account of all jobs;
  • mean weekly earnings for employees in their main job was $984;
  • 20% were trade union members in their main job;
  • 88% had contributions made by their current employer into a superannuation scheme on their behalf;
  • excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises (OMIEs), there were 8.7 million employees, of whom 76% had paid leave entitlements;
  • 7% (666,400) were OMIEs;
  • the highest educational attainment of 19% was a Bachelor Degree; and
  • excluding OMIEs, 40% received employment benefits (excluding superannuation) from their current employer in the last 12 months. Of these, 1.7 million received Communication and/or IT devices (1.2 million for men and 484,300 for women) and 1.1 million received Vehicle or vehicle costs (819,300 for men and 291,900 for women).


WEEKLY EARNINGS

Mean weekly earnings in all jobs

The mean weekly earnings of employees in all jobs in August 2009, was $995, an increase of $37 since August 2008. Mean weekly earnings in all jobs for men was $1,181 compared to $789 for women. Mean weekly earnings for full-time workers was $1,225 compared to $447 for part-time workers.

Mean weekly earnings, in all jobs, has increased by just over 59% during the 10 years to August 2009, from $624 in August 1999 to $995 in August 2009. Changes in mean weekly earnings may be affected not only by changes in the rate of pay, but also by changes in the composition of the Australian workforce, including:
  • an increasing diversity of employment arrangements;
  • number of hours worked;
  • increase in the extent of part-time and casual employment; and
  • changes in the mix of industry and occupation.


Mean weekly earnings in main job
EMPLOYEES IN MAIN JOB, Mean weekly earnings in main job (a), By age-By sex
Graph: EMPLOYEES IN MAIN JOB, Mean weekly earnings in main job (a), By age–By sex


The mean weekly earnings, for employees in their main job, in August 2009 was $984 ($1,171 for men and $775 for women). Men aged 45-54 years, had the highest mean weekly earnings at $1,468, whilst for women, it was those aged 25-34 years at $882. The mean weekly earnings in the main job was higher for men than for women in every age group. The greatest difference in mean weekly earnings, between male and female employees, was for those aged 45-54 years (a difference of $607 per week), while the smallest difference, $84, was for those aged 15-19 years.

Employees in main job, Weekly earnings in main job, By full-time or part-time status in main job
Graph: Employees in main job, Weekly earnings in main job, By full-time or part-time status in main job


The proportion of employees earning $600 and under $700 was 8%, for both full-time and part-time employees. However, the earnings ranges on either side varied, for example, an estimated 4% of full-time employees and 11% of part-time employees, earned between $500 and under $600. Conversely, 10% of full-time employees and 5% of part-time employees earned between $700 and under $800.


Median weekly earnings in main job

In August 2009, the median weekly earnings in main job for all employees was $840. Median weekly earnings were the highest for employees who were Managers ($1,250), and Professionals ($1,197), and for employees who worked in the Mining industry ($1,910). Median weekly earnings were lowest for employees who worked in the Accommodation and food services industry ($400) and employees who were Sales workers ($468).


Trade Union Membership in main job

In August 2009, the proportion of employees, who were trade union members in their main job, increased from 19% in 2008 to 20%. This was an increase of 82,200 from the previous year.

Data collected about trade union members in their main job for August 2009 also showed:
  • 22% of full-time employees, and 15% of part-time employees were trade union members in their main job;
  • 46% of public sector employees compared to 14% of private sector employees were trade union members in their main job; and
  • Tasmania had the highest proportion (26%), while the Australian Capital Territory had the lowest proportion (13%) of employees who were trade union members in their main job.
Employees in main job, Industry of main job, By trade union membership in main job-Proportion of all employees who were trade union members
Graph: Employees in main job, Industry of main job, By trade union membership in main job–Proportion of all employees who were trade union members


Employees in the Education and training industry group, had the highest proportion of trade union membership in their main job (42%), followed by Electricity, gas, water and waste services (41%). The industry group with the lowest proportion of trade union membership in their main job, was Agriculture, forestry and fishing (3%).


SUPERANNUATION CONTRIBUTIONS PAID BY EMPLOYER

In August 2009, 88% of all employees had superannuation contributions paid into a superannuation scheme on their behalf, by their employer. A higher proportion of full-time employees, had superannuation contributions paid into a superannuation scheme on their behalf, than part-time employees (94% and 76% respectively).

Just over 93% of employees earning $400 and over each week in their main job, had superannuation contributions paid into a superannuation scheme on their behalf by their employer, compared to 65% for employees earning less than $400 per week.


EMPLOYEES (EXCLUDING OMIES)

Paid leave entitlements

Of the 8.7 million employees (excluding OMIEs) at August 2009, 76% (6.5 million) had paid leave entitlements, that is, they were entitled to paid sick leave, paid holiday leave, or both in their main job. A higher proportion of employees1 who were men, had paid leave entitlements (79%) than for women (72%).

The occupation group with the highest proportion of employees1 with paid leave entitlements was Managers (93%), followed by Professionals (89%). The occupation group with the lowest proportion with paid leave entitlements, was Sales workers (54%).


Employees (excluding OMIEs) without paid leave entitlements

In August 2009, 24% (2.1 million) of employees1 did not have paid leave entitlements (a proxy measure for casual employment) in their main job, that is, they were not entitled to either paid sick leave or paid holiday leave in their main job (or did not know if they were entitled). Of these:
  • 56% were women;
  • 21% were aged 15-19 years, and 59% were aged under 35 years;
  • 73% were part-time employees1;
  • 21% were Sales workers and a further 21% were labourers; and
  • 20% were in the Accommodation and food services industry and a further 19% were in the Retail trade industry.


Number of paid leave entitlements

In August 2009, paid sick leave and paid holiday leave were the most common paid leave entitlements held by employees1 (75% and 74% respectively).

An estimated 77% of employees1 had one or more paid leave entitlements, and 23% had no paid leave entitlements at all.

Comparisons for some key population groups in relation to whether employees1 had all of the paid leave entitlements2 show:
  • 35% of the 4.2 million women had all paid leave entitlements2, compared to 23% of the 4.5 million men who were employees1;
  • 35% of the 6 million full-time employees had all paid leave entitlements2, compared to 16% of the 2.7 million part-time employees1; and
  • 57% of the 1.7 million employees1 in the public sector had all paid leave entitlements2, compared to 22% of the 7 million employees1 in the private sector.

Overall, the industries with the highest proportions of employees1 with all of the paid leave entitlements2 were Public administration and safety (59%) and Financial and insurance services (53%). In contrast, 7% of employees in the Accommodation and food services industry, had all paid leave entitlements2, while in the same industry, 62% had no paid leave entitlements.

Almost half (47%) of the employees1 who were Professionals in August 2009 had all paid leave entitlements2. In contrast, 11% of Labourers and 14% of Sales workers had all paid leave entitlements2, while over two-fifths (43% and 45% respectively) of employees1 in each of these groups had no paid leave entitlements.


END NOTE

1. Excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises.

2. Refers to the entitlement of paid holiday leave, paid sick leave, paid maternity/paternity leave and paid long service leave.


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