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6105.0 - Australian Labour Market Statistics, Jul 2008  
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This article was published in the July 2008 issue of Australian Labour Market Statistics (cat. no. 6105.0).

EMPLOYMENT TYPE


INTRODUCTION

The nature of employment in Australia has been changing since the early 1990s. The increase in part-time and 'casual' employment has been of particular interest. Also of interest are the number of employees entitled to paid leave, and the extent of self-employment.


The ABS has developed an annual time series on the types of employment that people have. These include estimates of employees who are not entitled to paid sick leave, paid holiday leave or both (used as one measure of 'casual' employees), and people who operate their own business. The series are derived by combining data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the Survey of Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership (cat. no. 6310.0), conducted as a supplement to the August LFS each year. The time series covers data from August 1992 to August 2007. The updated Employment Type spreadsheet is available from the Australian Labour Market Statistics (cat. no. 6105.0) publication on the ABS website.


The October 2004 issue of Australian Labour Market Statistics (cat. no. 6105.0) presents an article 'Changes in types of employment' that discusses the classification and methodology used to construct the time series. More detail can be found in an appendix to the October 2004 article, available from the ABS website. This spotlight presents an update of the time series to August 2007 (end note 1).


To allow comparison over time, the occupation and industry classifications referred to in this article, and those contained in the Employment Type spreadsheet, are from the Australian Standard Classification of Occupation (ASCO), 1997 (Second Edition), and the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993.



EMPLOYMENT TYPE

The series presented in this article and in the spreadsheet are for the following types of employment in main job (unless otherwise stated):

  • employees (excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises)
      • employees (end note 2) with paid leave entitlements
      • employees (end note 2) without paid leave entitlements
  • owner managers (end note 3)
      • owner managers of incorporated enterprises (OMIEs) (end note 4)
      • owner managers of unincorporated enterprises (OMUEs) (end note 5)


CHANGES IN TYPES OF EMPLOYMENT

Employees (end note 2) represented 81% of all employed people in August 2007 compared to 79% in 1992. The most common type of employment in main job continues to be that of an employee (end note 2) entitled to paid sick or holiday leave or both, with a 61% share of employment in August 2007. While the proportion of employees (end note 2) with paid leave entitlements declined slightly from 1992 to 1997 (62% to 60%), there has been little change since this period. In August 2007, employees (end note 2) without paid leave entitlements accounted for 20% of all employed people. This proportion rose from 17% in 1992 to 20% in 1998 and has remained relatively stable since then as shown in Graph 1.


Owner managers made up 19% of the employed population in August 2007 compared with 20% in 1992. Graph 1 shows that owner managers of unincorporated enterprises accounted for 12% of all employed people in August 2007, while owner managers of incorporated enterprises represented 6%. In August 1992, the proportion of owner managers of unincorporated enterprises (15%) was three times that of owner managers of incorporated enterprises (5%).

1. Types of employment, as Proportion of the total employed in main job - 1992 to 2007
Graph: 1. TYPES OF EMPLOYMENT, as Proportion of the total employed in main job—1992 to 2007



Women represented 45% of all employed people in August 2007 compared to 43% in 1992. In August 2007, 25% of employed women (26% in 1992) were employees (end note 2) without paid leave entitlements compared to 16% of employed men (11% in 1992). The higher proportion of female employees (end note 2) without paid leave entitlements is associated with the fact that women are more likely to be in part-time work than men and that part-time workers (end note 6) are more likely to be employees (end note 2) without paid leave entitlements. The gap in the proportion of female and male employees (end note 2) who are without paid leave entitlements has decreased from 15% in 1992 to 9% in 2007. This decrease is associated with the fact that more men are participating in part-time employment than in previous years (11% in 1992 and 15% in 2007).


Owner managers are more often men than women. In August 2007, 23% of employed men were owner managers, compared to 13% of employed women. These proportions have not changed greatly since 1992 (24% and 14% respectively). In August 2007, almost two-third of male owner managers (65%) were owner managers of unincorporated enterprises.



AGE

In August 2007, people in the younger age groups (15-19 years and 20-24 years), and in the oldest age group (65 years and over), were more likely to be working as an employee (end note 2) without paid leave entitlements. Two-thirds (66%) of employees (end note 2) aged 15-19 years were without paid leave entitlements, as were 35% of employees (end note 2) aged 20-24 years. This is associated with the fact that young people are more likely to work in part-time jobs and combine these jobs with study. Of employees (end note 2) aged 65 years and over, 44% did not have paid leave entitlements. This is associated with the fact that many older people tend to move into part-time jobs as a transition to retirement.

2. Proportion of employees(a) in main job with/without paid leave entitlements, by Age group
Graph: 2. Proportion of employees(a) in main job with/without paid leave entitlements, by Age group



Most employees (end note 2) between the ages of 20 and 59 years had paid leave entitlements. In August 2007, the highest proportion of employees (end note 2) who had paid leave entitlements was for those aged 50-54 years (85%).


Graph 3 shows that the likelihood of being an owner manager (either of an incorporated or an unincorporated enterprise) increases with age, especially for those people aged 55 years and over. Only 2% of employed people aged 15-19 years were owner managers. In contrast, just over half (51%) of employed people aged 65 and over were owner managers. Owner managers of unincorporated enterprises accounted for 37% of all employed people aged 65 years and over. About 14% of the total employed in this age group were owner managers of incorporated enterprises.

3. Owner managers in main job, Proportion of all employed persons in main job-by Age group
Graph: 3. Owner managers in main job, Proportion of all employed persons in main job—by Age group




FULL-TIME/PART-TIME

Overall, full-time employed people (in all jobs) represented 71% of the total employed in August 2007, compared to 75% in 1992. Conversely, the proportion of part-time employed persons in all jobs rose from 25% to 29% over the same period.


The most common type of employment in August 2007 was that of a full-time employee (end note 2) with paid leave entitlements, accounting for 51% of the total employed, down from 56% in 1992. Owner managers of unincorporated enterprises accounted for 8% of all employed people in 2007, compared to 11% in 1992.

4. Employed Persons, Type of employment in main job - by full-time/part-time status in all jobs - 1992 and 2007

PROPORTION OF EMPLOYED
Full-time
Part-time
Total
Total
Proportion employed part-time
%
%
%
'000
%

1992
Employees* with paid leave entitlements
55.6
6.5
62.0
4 738.3
10.4
Employees* without paid leave entitlements
4.2
12.8
16.9
1 294.3
75.3
Owner managers of incorporated enterprises
4.0
0.8
4.9
372.2
17.4
Owner managers of unincorporated enterprises
11.2
3.9
15.2
1 157.0
25.8
Total(a)
75.3
24.7
100.0
7 636.7
24.7
2007
Employees* with paid leave entitlements
51.0
10.0
61.0
6 360.9
16.4
Employees* without paid leave entitlements
6.7
13.4
20.1
2 096.0
66.6
Owner managers of incorporated enterprises
5.1
1.3
6.3
660.2
19.9
Owner managers of unincorporated enterprises
8.5
3.9
12.4
1 291.4
31.4
Total(a)
71.3
28.7
100.0
10 435.8
28.7

(a) Total includes 'Contributing family workers'.
* Employees (excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises).


In August 2007, two thirds (67%) of employees (end note 2) without paid leave entitlements were employed part-time, down from 75% in 1992. For all other employment type categories, the proportion of people employed part-time has increased. The proportion of employees (end note 2) with paid leave entitlements who worked part-time increased from 10% of all employed people in 1992 to 16% in 2007.



OCCUPATION

Data on occupation and employment type are available from 1996 onwards. In 2007, about 72% of employees (end note 2) without paid leave entitlements were in the two lowest skills occupations, that is, skill levels 4 and 5. Skill level 4 consists of Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers, and Intermediate production and transport workers. Skill level 5 consists of Elementary clerical, sales and service workers, and Labourers and related workers.

5. Employees in main job without paid leave entitlements(a), by skill level(b)

1996
2007
Difference
Occupation(b)
'000
%
'000
%
'000
% change

Skill level 1
167.7
10.3
243.9
11.6
76.1
45.4
Skill level 2
67.1
4.1
128.7
6.1
61.6
91.9
Skill level 3
192.4
11.8
209.3
10.0
16.9
8.8
Skill level 4
476.8
29.3
673.2
32.1
196.4
41.2
Skill level 5
722.6
44.4
841.0
40.1
118.4
16.4
Total
1 626.6
100.0
2 096.0
100.0
469.4
28.9

(a) Employees (excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises)
(b) For more detail on skill level see the Australian Standard Classification of Occupation, Second Edition (cat no. 1220.0).


The proportion of employees (end note 2) who were without paid leave entitlements increased in Skill levels 1, 2 and 4 between 1992 and 2007. The largest percentage increase (92%) in employees (end note 2) without paid leave entitlements occurred in skill level 2 (Associate professionals), albeit from a small base.


In August 2007, more than a third of owner managers had an occupation equivalent to skill level 1 (36%). Almost two thirds of owner managers of incorporated enterprises were in skill levels 1 and 2 (64%). This has been a consistent pattern in employment type since 1996. Owner managers of unincorporated enterprises tend to be concentrated in skill levels 1 (33%) and 3 (27%).

6. Owner managers in main job, by skill level(a)

OMIEs
OMUEs
Total owner managers
Occupation
'000
%
'000
%
'000
%

Skill level 1
286.2
43.4
421.4
32.6
707.6
36.3
Skill level 2
138.2
20.9
199.3
15.4
337.5
17.3
Skill level 3
126.9
19.2
348.9
27.0
475.9
24.4
Skill level 4
71.3
10.8
174.5
13.5
245.7
12.6
Skill level 5
37.6
5.7
147.3
11.4
184.9
9.5
Total
660.2
100.0
1 291.4
100.0
1 951.5
100.0

(a) For more detail on skill level see the Australian Standard Classification of Occupation, Second Edition (cat. no. 1220.0).



INDUSTRY

Data on industry and employment type are available from 1994 onwards. The proportion of all employed people who are employees (end note 2) with paid leave entitlements was highest in the Government administration and defence (91%) and the Electricity, gas and water supply (88%) industries.


In August 2007, employees (end note 2) without paid leave entitlements represented 50% of all those employed in the Accommodation, cafes and restaurants industry, followed by Retail trade (37%), and the Cultural and recreational services industry (29%). These industries have high proportions of people who work part-time (at least 41%).

7. Employees(a) in main job without paid leave entitlements, Proportion of all employed persons in main job, by Industry-1994 to 2007
Graph: 7. Employees(a) in main job without paid leave entitlements, Proportion of all employed persons in main job, by Industry—1994 to 2007



There was little increase in the proportion of employees (end note 2) without paid leave entitlements across most industries from 1994 to 2007, with numbers decreasing in some industries (Cultural and recreational services dropped from 32% to 29%). The highest increase occurred in the Communication services industry (from 6% to 15%), followed by the Electricity, gas and water supply industry (from 3% to 9%) over the period.

8. Owner managers in main job, as Proportion of all employed in main job, by Industry

OMIES
OMUES
Total owner managers
Total employed
Industry
'000
%
'000
%
'000
%
'000
%

Agriculture, forestry and fishing
45.2
12.7
186.3
52.4
231.5
65.1
355.7
100.0
Mining
*2.5
*1.8
*1.5
*1.1
*4.0
*2.9
136.4
100.0
Manufacturing
56.9
5.3
72.2
6.7
129.0
12.0
1 075.4
100.0
Electricity, gas and water supply
*1.4
*1.6
*1.0
*1.2
*2.4
*2.8
84.2
100.0
Construction
112.9
12.3
269.7
29.5
382.6
41.8
915.0
100.0
Wholesale trade
44.5
10.0
33.8
7.6
78.3
17.6
445.8
100.0
Retail trade
85.9
5.6
174.1
11.3
260.0
16.9
1 542.5
100.0
Accommodation, cafes and restaurants
30.0
5.9
37.9
7.5
67.9
13.4
507.2
100.0
Transport and storage
30.1
6.0
63.2
12.7
93.4
18.7
499.2
100.0
Communication services
9.3
5.1
18.3
10.0
27.6
15.1
182.5
100.0
Finance and insurance
27.9
7.1
17.6
4.4
45.5
11.5
395.9
100.0
Property and business services
143.1
11.1
199.8
15.5
342.9
26.6
1 287.6
100.0
Government administration and defence
*1.0
*0.2
*3.0
*0.6
*4.0
*0.8
483.4
100.0
Education
7.5
1.0
25.5
3.4
33.0
4.4
755.3
100.0
Health and community services
37.8
3.5
58.1
5.4
95.9
8.8
1 084.1
100.0
Cultural and recreational services
11.6
4.0
55.8
19.1
67.4
23.1
292.3
100.0
Personal and other services
12.7
3.2
73.5
18.7
86.2
21.9
393.2
100.0
Total
660.2
6.3
1 291.4
12.4
1 951.5
18.7
10 435.8
100.0

* estimate is subject to sampling variability too high for most practical purposes


Overall, owner managers represented 19% of the employed population in August 2007 (see Table 8). However, in certain industries, owner managers represented a large proportion of those employed. They represented almost two thirds of the employed population in Agriculture, forestry and fishing (65%), and 42% of those employed in the Construction industry.


Agriculture, forestry and fishing had the highest proportion of owner managers of unincorporated enterprises (52%), followed by Construction (30%). Males made up at least two-thirds (68%) of owner managers of unincorporated enterprises in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry.


The industry with the highest proportion of owner managers of incorporated enterprises was Agriculture, forestry and fishing (13% of all employed in that industry) and this was closely followed by Construction (12%).



FURTHER INFORMATION

An updated spreadsheet containing the annual time series on employment type from 1992 to 2007, is now available from the ABS website. To find the spreadsheet go to <http://www.abs.gov.au>[Statistics-By Catalogue Number-6. Labour statistics and Prices-61.Labour Statistics - general-6105.0 - Australian Labour Market Statistics]. This spreadsheet includes estimates of employment type by sex and full-time/part-time status for each of the following variables: age (five year age groups), state of usual residence, industry and occupation.



END NOTES

1. An improved method of estimation for the Labour Force Survey (LFS) has been introduced in April 2007. This new method, known as composite estimation, is more efficient than the previous estimation method. That is, the composite estimator achieves a given level of standard error at lower cost and respondent load than the previous estimator. The ABS has revised all of the statistics in the Labour Force publication and associated spreadsheets back to April 2001 based on the new estimation method. This includes the Employment Type spreadsheet, which has been updated from August 2001 with the new estimation method. For more information on composite estimation, please refer to Information Paper: Forthcoming Changes to Labour Force Statistics (cat. no. 6292.0).


2. Employees (excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises).


3. Owner managers are people who work in their own business, with or without employees, whether or not the business is of limited liability


4. Owner managers of incorporated enterprises are people who work in their own incorporated enterprise, that is, a business entity that is registered as a separate legal entity to its members or owners (also known as a limited liability company). They are technically employees, however, they are similar in characteristics to owner managers of unincorporated enterprises.


5. Owner managers of unincorporated enterprises are people who operate their own unincorporated enterprise, that is, a business entity i.e. sole proprietor or partnership in which the owner and the business are legally inseparable, so that the owner is liable for any business debts that are incurred. Includes those engaged independently in a trade or profession.


6. Part-time workers are employed people who usually worked less than 35 hours a week (in all jobs) and either did so during the reference week, or were not at work in the reference week.


7. Skill level classifications have been taken from the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, Second Edition (cat. no. 1220.0). Below is the division of each occupation into a skill level.

  • Skill level 1:
      • Managers and Administrators
      • Professionals
  • Skill level 2:
      • Associate Professionals
  • Skill level 3:
      • Tradepersons and Related Workers
      • Advanced Clerical and Service Worker
  • Skill level 4:
      • Advanced Clerical, Sales and Service Workers
      • Intermediate Production and Transport Workers
  • Skill level 5:
      • Elementary Clerical, Sales and Service Workers
      • Labourers and Related Workers

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