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6105.0 - Australian Labour Market Statistics, Oct 2005  
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Feature Article: Spotlight on employment type


This article was published in the October 2005 issue of
Australian Labour Market Statistics (cat. no. 6105.0).


INTRODUCTION

The nature of employment has been changing in Australia over the past two decades. People have been particularly interested in the rise in part-time and 'casual' employment during this time. Related issues of interest are changes in the types of benefits for employees, such as leave entitlements, and the extent of self-employment. Until recently, there has been little data available on changes in the types of employment in Australia over time.


The ABS has developed an annual time series on the types of employment that people have. This includes information on employees who are not entitled to paid sick or holiday leave (used as a proxy for 'casual' employees), and people who operate their own business. The series are derived by combining data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the annual Survey of Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership. The time series for employment type was first released in October 2004 for August 1992 to August 2003, the period for which the series is available on a consistent basis.


The October 2004 issue of Australian Labour Market Statistics (cat. no. 6105.0) contained an article 'Changes in types of employment' that presented the time series data and discussed the classification and methodology used to construct the time series. More details of the classification and the methodology used can be found in an appendix to the October 2004 article, available from the ABS web site. This article presents an update of the time series to August 2004.



EMPLOYMENT TYPE

The series presented in this article are for the following types of employment:

  • employee (not an owner manager of an incorporated enterprise)
      • employee with paid leave entitlements
      • employee without paid leave entitlements
  • owner manager (end note 1)
      • owner manager of an incorporated enterprise (end note 2) (OMIE)
      • owner manager of an unincorporated enterprise (end note 3) (OMUE)
  • contributing family worker.


CHANGES IN TYPES OF EMPLOYMENT

Between 1992 and 2004, the dominant employment type was an employee with paid sick or holiday leave, although the share of employment dropped from 62% in August 1992 to 59% in August 2004. Most of the change occurred in the period from 1992 to 1997, with the proportion remaining relatively stable from 1997 onwards.


Graph 1 shows that over the same period, employees without paid leave entitlements rose as a proportion of total employment, from 17% in 1992 to 21% in 2004. Most of this increase occurred in the period to 1998.

1. Types of employment, Proportion of employed - 1992-2004
Graph: Types of employment, proportion of employed - 1992 to 2004



Most of the increase in the proportion of employed people who were employees without paid leave entitlements is due to changes for men rather than women. The proportion of employed men who were employees without paid leave entitlements increased over the period 1992 to 2004, from 11% to 16%, while the proportion for women remained stable at close to 26% over the same period.


The growth in the proportion of male employees without leave entitlements is partly due to the growth in the number of these men working in the lower skilled occupations. Between 1996 and 2004, 80% of the increase in the number of male employees without leave entitlements occurred in the lower skilled occupations of Intermediate clerical and service workers and Intermediate production and transport workers (comprising skill level 4 jobs) (end note 4) and Elementary clerical, sales and service workers and Labourers and related workers (comprising skill level 5 jobs) (end note 4). The lower skilled occupations also have the highest proportion of employees without leave entitlements overall. In August 2004, 53% of people working in Elementary clerical, sales and service workers were employees without leave entitlements, followed by Labourers and related workers (40%).

2. Employees without leave entitlements, Change over time for Men - by Occupation

1996
2004
Difference
Occupation(a)
'000
'000
'000
%

Skill level 1
63.0
81.7
18.6
10.6
Skill level 2
33.1
49.0
15.8
9.0
Skill level 3
114.9
115.5
0.6
0.4
Skill level 4
185.5
259.1
73.6
41.7
Skill level 5
280.8
348.4
67.6
38.3
Total
677.3
853.6
176.3
100.0

(a) For more detail on skill level see the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, 2nd Ed (cat. no. 1220.0).


The proportion of owner managers remained stable at about 20% of employment, varying between a minimum of 19.1% and a maximum of 20.5% during the period between 1992 and 2004. However, the split between incorporated and unincorporated enterprises has changed. Owner managers of incorporated enterprises increased from 24.3% of owner managers in 1992, to just under a third (32.2%) by 2004.


Those people employed as contributing family workers made up 1% or less of all employed people from 1992 to 2004.


Full-time/part-time

Although the dominant type of employment is still an employee with paid leave entitlements working full-time, this has declined from 56% in 1992 to 50% in 2004.


There is a strong relationship between working as an employee without paid leave entitlements and part-time employment (end note 5). In 2004, 69% of employees without paid leave entitlements worked part-time (down from 75% in 1992).


Between 1992 and 2004, the proportion of owner managers who worked part-time increased from 17% to 19% for owner managers of incorporated enterprises, and from 26% to 29% for owner managers of unincorporated enterprises.

3. Employed persons, Type of employment by full-time/part-time status - 1992 and 2004

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
Contributing family workers
0.2
0.8
1.0
74.9
78.6
Total
75.3
24.7
100.0
7 636.7
24.7
2004
Employees with paid leave entitlements
50.0
9.1
59.1
5 661.3
15.4
Employees without paid leave entitlements
6.4
14.1
20.5
1 960.0
68.9
Owner managers of incorporated enterprises
5.2
1.2
6.5
618.4
18.9
Owner managers of unincorporated enterprises
9.6
3.9
13.6
1 301.2
29.0
Contributing family workers
0.1
0.3
0.4
37.0
83.7
Total
71.3
28.7
100.0
9 578.0
28.7


Age

People in younger and older age groups are much more likely to be working as an employee without paid leave entitlements. At August 2004, two-thirds (66%) of people aged 15-19 years were employees without paid leave entitlements, followed by people aged 20-24 years (35%). This is closely related to the fact that young people are more likely to work in part-time jobs and tend to combine these jobs with study. Almost a quarter (24%) of people aged 65 years and over were employees without paid leave entitlements. Older workers sometimes move into part-time jobs without leave entitlements as they approach their retirement.


People in older age groups were more likely to be owner managers. Of employed people aged 65 years and over, 54% were owner managers, compared with only 1% of employed people aged 15-19 years.



FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Spreadsheets containing data of the time series on employment type, from 1992 to 2004, are available free on the ABS web site <http://www.abs.gov.au> (AusStats - Publications and Data - Data cubes). They are listed as Table 2 under catalogue number 6105.0. These spreadsheets include estimates of employment type by sex and full-time/part-time status for each of the following variables: age (5 year age groups), state of usual residence, industry and occupation.


Employment type data can also be obtained from the Forms of Employment Survey. An article highlighting data from the November 2004 survey was included in the July 2005 issue of Australian Labour Market Statistics (cat. no. 6105.0). From November 2006, the ABS plans to conduct the Forms of Employment Survey annually. This will provide a more detailed employment type classification including information on employees and owner managers working on a contract basis.


For further information, please contact Assistant Director, Labour Market Statistics on Canberra (02) 6252 6662.



END NOTES

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


2. Owner managers of incorporated enterprises are people who work in their own incorporated enterprise, that is, a business entity which is registered as a separate legal entity to its members or owners (also known as a limited liability company). < Back


3. Owner managers of unincorporated enterprises are people who operate their own unincorporated enterprise, that is, a business entity 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. < Back


4. For more detail on skill level see the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, Second Edition (cat. no. 1220.0). < Back


5. 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. < Back


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