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1308.8 - In fACT - Statistical Information on the ACT and Region, Feb 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/02/2009   
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FEATURE ARTICLE: EMPLOYED AND AGED 55 TO 64


INTRODUCTION

In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and across Australia generally, the population has not only grown, but changed in terms of its age profile, such that there are fewer people at younger ages relative to those in older age groups. Such a change in age profile has a number of consequences. In the workforce context there were nearly five ACT residents of working age for every ACT resident aged 55 and over not working - by 2006 this had declined to just over four. However life expectancy has increased and furthermore, employees are being encouraged to stay in the workforce longer, meaning that a number of employees are working to an older age.

At Census 1996 the number of ACT residents aged 55 to 64 who stated they were employed was 10,136. This represented 6.7% of all ACT residents who were employed. By Census 2006 this had risen to 20,595, resulting in employees aged 55 to 64 making up 11.7% of all ACT residents who were employed. For Australia, the proportion increased from 7.9% at Census 1996 to 12.7% at Census 2006.

This article discusses data obtained from the 1996 and 2006 Censuses of Population and Housing, focussing on employees aged 55 to 64, by occupation (endnote 1) and industry (endnote 2). The distribution of employees in this age group across occupations and industries is discussed, as well as the proportion of the workforce within occupations and industries, accounted for by this age group. Any notable changes over the ten years are highlighted, and how ACT compared with the national picture is discussed.


EMPLOYMENT BY OCCUPATION

Across occupations

OCCUPATION - AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

Graph: OCCUPATION – AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY


OCCUPATION - AUSTRALIA
Graph: OCCUPATION – AUSTRALIA



At Census 2006 the predominant occupation for ACT resident employees, aged 55 to 64, was Intermediate Clerical Workers, which accounted for 11.5% of employees in the age group. This category also accounted for the largest proportion of employees aged 55 to 64 at Census 1996 (11.1%).

After Intermediate Clerical Workers however there were changes between 1996 and 2006. In 1996 Education Professionals was the second most common type of occupation undertaken by employees aged 55 to 64. By 2006 more were employed as Business and Information Professionals (9.6%) or Specialist Managers (9.3%). The proportion employed as Education Professionals eased from 8.0% in 1996 to 7.4% in 2006.

Nationally the predominant occupation at Census 2006, for workers aged 55 to 64, was also Intermediate Clerical Workers, which accounted for 8.5% of employees in the age group. This was consistent with 1996 in terms of ranking, however the proportion of the age group in this category grew more strongly at the national level (from 6.7% in 1996) than for the ACT over the ten years.


Within occupations
OCCUPATION - AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY, Proportion of workers aged 55-64 years
Graph: OCCUPATION – AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY, Proportion of workers aged 55–64 years


OCCUPATION - AUSTRALIA, Proportion of workers aged 55-64 years
Graph: OCCUPATION – AUSTRALIA, Proportion of workers aged 55–64 years


At Census 2006 the occupation that included the largest proportion of ACT resident employees aged 55 to 64 was Farmers and Farm Managers, where they made up 25.6% of employees in that occupation. They also made up a significant proportion of Road and Rail Transport Drivers (22.1% of employees in that occupation) and Generalist Managers (19.8%). Employees aged 55 to 64 also stood out as being a major source of growth for the Road and Rail Transport Drivers occupation. At Census 2006 employees aged 55 to 64 accounted for 10.5% of all employees in this occupation, and by Census 2006 this proportion had more than doubled.

Nationally, the picture in terms of the top three was similar to ACT, with the notable exception that the proportion of Farmers and Farm Managers accounted for by those aged 55 to 64 grew at the national level (20.1% of employees in that occupation to 24.7%). In the ACT it eased (27.3% to 25.6%), between 1996 and 2006.


INDUSTRY OF EMPLOYMENT

Across industries
INDUSTRY - AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
Graph: INDUSTRY – AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY


INDUSTRY - AUSTRALIA
Graph: INDUSTRY – AUSTRALIA


At Census 2006 the largest proportion of ACT resident employees aged 55 to 64 worked in Government Administration and Defence (25.1% of employees aged 55 to 64). This was up over 5 percentage points from 1996 (19.7%). Next was Property and Business Services (14.1%), followed by Education (13.0%). Of note, the proportion employed in Education fell between Census 1996 (14.8%) and Census 2006.

The picture at the national level was somewhat different. The Health and Community Services industry accounted for the largest proportion of employees aged 55 to 64 (12.9%) at Census 2006, up 3 percentage points from Census 1996 (9.9%). Government Administration and Defence accounted for only 5.7% of this age group nationally, up 1.2 percentage points between 2006 and 1996 (4.5%).


Within industries
INDUSTRY - AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY, Proportion of workers aged 55-64 years
Graph: INDUSTRY – AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY, Proportion of workers aged 55–64 years


INDUSTRY - AUSTRALIA, Proportion of workers aged 55-64 years
Graph: INDUSTRY – AUSTRALIA, Proportion of workers aged 55–64 years


In Mining and in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, ACT resident employees aged 55 to 64 accounted for nearly 20% of the workforce at Census 2006. However the numbers involved are small and hence subject to quite large variability in a proportionate sense.

Otherwise, employees aged 55 to 64 contributed most to numbers in the workforce in the Transport and Storage and Education industries (18.6% and 17.4% respectively, of employees in these industries). The largest growth between the two censuses occurred in Mining, Transport and Storage and in Government Administration and Defence. The proportion of employees aged 55 to 64 in these industries, more than doubled between Census 1996 and Census 2006.

Nationally, employees aged 55 to 64 contributed most to workforce numbers in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (20.6% of employees in the industry), followed by Transport and Storage (16.3%) and Education (16.1%). The strongest growth occurred in Education and Health and Community Services where the proportion of employees in these industries nearly doubled between Census 1996 and Census 2006.

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.


ENDNOTES

1 Classified according to the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) Second Edition, 1997 at the 2 digit level.

2 Classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 1993 edition at the 1 digit level.


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