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6359.0 - Forms of Employment, Australia, November 2009 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/04/2010   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


OVERVIEW

In November 2009, there were approximately 10.7 million employed people, aged 15 years and over. Of these, 61% (6.5 million) were employees with paid leave entitlements, that is, they were entitled to paid sick and/or paid holiday leave. Of the remaining employed people:

  • 2.1 million were employees without paid leave entitlements;
  • 1.0 million were independent contractors; and
  • 975,000 were other business operators.


EMPLOYEES

Of the 6.5 million people who were employees with paid leave entitlements, 54% were men.

The occupation groups with the greatest proportion of men with paid leave entitlements were, Technicians and trades workers and Professionals (both 23%). In comparison, for women with paid leave entitlements, the occupation groups with the greatest proportions were Professionals (30%) and Clerical and administrative workers (28%).

For men without leave entitlements, the largest proportion were Labourers (30%) followed by Technicians and trade workers (14%). For women without leave entitlements, Sales workers (27%) and Community and personal service workers (24%) were the occupation groups with the largest proportions.

Diagram: EMPLOYEES

Approximately 4% of employees with and without paid leave entitlements worked on a fixed-term contract. For men who had paid leave entitlements, 3% worked on a fixed-term contract, while for women who had paid leave entitlements, 5% were working on fixed-term contracts. The majority of all employees did not work on a fixed-term contract (96%).

An estimated 69% (6 million) of employees were full-time workers in their main job. Most employees who were full-time workers, in their main job, had paid leave entitlements (90%). By comparison, of the 2.7 million part-time workers, less than half (42%) had paid leave entitlements.

The industry groups with the highest proportion of men who were full-time workers with paid leave entitlements were, Manufacturing (16%) and Construction (10%). By comparison, the industry groups with the largest proportion of women who were full-time workers with paid leave entitlements, were Health care and social assistance (19%) and Education and training (14%).

The occupation group with the highest proportion of full-time workers with paid leave entitlements was Professionals (26%), followed by Technicians and trades workers (16%). The occupation group with the highest proportion of part-time workers with paid leave entitlements was Professionals (25%), followed by Clerical and administrative workers (24%).

For employees without paid leave entitlements, the occupation group with the highest proportion of full-time workers was Labourers (23%), and for part-time workers, was Sales workers (26%).

Other characteristics of employees in November 2009 include:
  • 21% had been with their current employer for less than 1 year, while 20% had been with their current employer for 10 years or more;
  • 20% were aged 15-24 years, and 14% were aged 55 years and over;
  • 41% had some say in their start and finish times; and
  • 69% worked weekdays only in their job/s1, while a further 30% worked both weekdays and weekends.


INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

There were 1 million people who were independent contractors in their main job in November 2009. The majority (75%) of these were men. Almost half (49%) of all independent contractors worked 40 hours or more in their job (56% of men and 27% of women).

Female independent contractors were more likely to work fewer hours than men. For example, almost one-third (32%) of women independent contractors worked fewer than 15 hours in their job, compared to 13% of independent contractors who were men. A further 20% of women worked 15-24 hours per week compared to 11% of men, while 32% of women independent contractors worked 35 or more hours per week compared with 65% of men.

For both men and women, the 35-54 year age group accounted for more than half of all independent contractors (51% and 56% respectively).

Independent contractors were most likely to work in the Construction industry (33%) followed by the Professional, scientific and technical services industry (15%). Independent contractors who were men, were more likely to work in the Construction industry (41%) followed by the Professional, scientific and technical services industry (13%). By comparison, independent contractors who were women, were most likely to work in the Professional, scientific and technical services industry (20%), followed by the Administrative and support services industry (14%).

Independent contractors, Occupation of main job - By sex
Graph: Independent contractors, Occupation of main job—By sex


For men, the occupation groups Technicians and trades workers (37%), and Professionals (18%) accounted for the highest proportion of independent contractors. For women, the greatest proportion of independent contractors were Professionals (33%), followed by Clerical and administrative workers (19%).

Most independent contractors (77%), were usually able to work on more than one active contract, however, just under half (47%) of all independent contractors had more than one active contract in the reference week.

Other characteristics of independent contractors in November 2009 include:
  • 57% had authority over their own work (58% of men and 56% of women);
  • 68% were able to (sub)contract their own work (71% of men and 60% of women);
  • 80% had no employees (78% of men and 87% of women);
  • 14% had been with their current business for less than 1 year, while 38% had been with their current business for 10 years or more;
  • 4% were aged 15-24 years, and 26% were aged 55 years and over;
  • 83% had some say in their start or finish times; and
  • 60% worked weekdays only in their job/s1, while a further 40% worked on both weekdays and weekends.


OTHER BUSINESS OPERATORS

There were approximately 975,000 other business operators in November 2009, of whom 62% were men. For both men and women, over half of business operators were in the 35-54 year age group (55% and 58% respectively).

Other business operators who were men, were most likely to work in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry (20%), followed by the Professional, scientific and technical services industry (12%). For women, the most common industries were Agriculture, forestry and fishing (17%), and Retail trade (15%).

Other business operators, Occupation of main job - By sex
Graph: Other business operators, Occupation of main job—By sex


For men who were other business operators, the most common occupation was Managers (49%) followed by Professionals (19%). For women, the most common occupation was Managers (35%) followed by Clerical and administrative workers (29%).

Other characteristics of other business operators in November 2009 include:
  • 56% worked 40 hours or more per week (71% of men and 32% of women);
  • 7% had been with their current employer/business for less than 1 year, and a further 50% have been with their current employer/business for 10 years or more;
  • 2% were aged 15-24 years, and 31% were aged 55 years and over;
  • 88% had some say in their start or finish times; and
  • 43% worked weekdays only in their job/s1, while a further 56% worked on both weekdays and weekends.


ALL EMPLOYED PEOPLE
All employed people, Type of employment-By age group (years)
Graph: All employed people, Type of employment—By age group (years)


People who were employees tended to be younger in age compared with independent contractors and other business operators. As age increases, generally, the proportion of employees decreases, while the proportion of independent contractors and other business operators increases. For example:
  • 97% of people aged 15-24 years were employees, 3% were independent contractors and 1% were other business operators;
  • 78% of people aged 35-44 years were employees, 11% were independent contractors and 11% were other business operators; and
  • 48% of people aged 65 years and over were employees, 23% were independent contractors and 28% were other business operators.


END NOTE

1. See paragraph 21 of the Explanatory Notes for more information.


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