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6310.0 - Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia, August 2011 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/04/2012   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


OVERVIEW

In August 2011, there were 9.9 million employees (5.3 million males and 4.7 million females). Of these, 70% were full-time employees in their main job (84% of male employees and 53% of female employees). Other characteristics of employees included:

  • mean weekly earnings for employees in their main job was $1056;
  • 18% were trade union members in their main job;
  • 90% had contributions made by their current employer into a superannuation scheme on their behalf; and
  • 724,100 (7%) were owner managers of incorporated enterprises (OMIEs).


WEEKLY EARNINGS

Mean weekly earnings in all jobs

The mean weekly earnings of employees in all jobs in August 2011 was $1,070, an increase of $35 since August 2010. Mean weekly earnings in all jobs for males was $1,267 compared to $849 for females. Mean weekly earnings for full-time workers was $1310 compared to $486 for part-time workers.

Mean weekly earnings in all jobs has increased by 56% during the 10 years to August 2011, from $687 in August 2001 to $1070 in August 2011. 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:
  • diversity of employment arrangements;
  • number of hours worked;
  • the extent of part-time and casual employment; and
  • mix of industries and occupations.


Mean weekly earnings in main job
Mean weekly earnings in main job (a), By age and sex
Graph: Mean weekly earnings in main job (a), By age and sex


The mean weekly earnings for employees in their main job in August 2011 was $1,255 for males and $833 for females. Those aged 45-54 had the highest mean weekly earnings ($1515 for males, compared to $939 for females). The mean weekly earnings in main job were higher for males than for females in every age group. The greatest difference in mean weekly earnings between male and female employees was for those aged 45-54 (a difference of $576 per week), while the smallest difference, $63, was for those aged 15-19 years.


Median weekly earnings in main job

In August 2011, the median weekly earnings in main job for all employees was $900. Median weekly earnings was the highest for employees who worked in the mining industry ($1,850). By occupation, the highest median was for Managers ($1,297), followed by Professionals ($1,250). Median weekly earnings was lowest for employees who worked in the Accommodation and food services industry ($431). By occupation, the lowest median was for Sales workers ($500).


Weekly earnings in main job
Distribution of Weekly earnings in main job, By full-time status in main job
Graph: Distribution of Weekly earnings in main job, By full-time status in main job


Distribution of Weekly earnings in main job, By part-time status in main job
Graph: Distribution of Weekly earnings in main job, By part-time status in main job


As would be expected, the distribution of weekly earnings of part-time employees is concentrated at the lower end with 58% earning under $500 per week. For full-time employees, 60% earn $1,000 or more per week.


TRADE UNION MEMBERSHIP IN MAIN JOB

The proportion of employees who were trade union members in their main job stayed the same at 18% in August 2011 as in August 2010.

Data collected about trade union members in their main job for August 2011 also showed:
  • 20% of full-time employees and 14% of part-time employees were trade union members in their main job;
  • 43% of public sector employees compared with 13% of private sector employees were trade union members in their main job; and
  • Tasmania had the highest proportion (25%), while the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) had the lowest proportion (14%), of employees who were trade union members in their main job, despite the ACT still having the highest percentage of public sector employment.
Proportion of trade union membership(a), By industry
Graph: Proportion of trade union membership(a), By industry


Employees in the Education and training industry Division had the highest proportion of trade union membership in their main job (39%), followed by Public administration and safety (35%). The industry Division with the lowest proportion of trade union membership in their main job was Professional, scientific and technical services (3%).


SUPERANNUATION CONTRIBUTIONS PAID BY EMPLOYER

In August 2011, 90% 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 (95% and 80% respectively).

Over 90% of employees earning over $500 per week had superannuation contributions paid into a superannuation scheme by their employer. Of this group, 97% of those earning between $1,200 and under $1,800 had superannuation contributions paid into a superannuation scheme. In contrast, employees earning less than $400 per week were less likely to have superannuation contributions paid into a superannuation scheme by their employer. For example, 51% of those earning under $200 and 80% of those earning at least $200 but less than $300 had superannuation contributions paid into a superannuation scheme by their employer.


EMPLOYEES (EXCLUDING OMIES)

With paid leave entitlements

In August 2011, there were 9.3 million employees1 (4.8 million males and 4.5 million females). Of these, 7 million (76%) had paid leave entitlements. A higher proportion of male employees had paid leave entitlements (79%) than female employees (72%).

The occupation group with the highest proportion of employees 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 (52%).


Mean weekly earnings in main job

Mean weekly earnings in main job for employees was $1036 ($1235 for males and $824 for females). Employees with paid leave entitlements had higher mean weekly earnings in main job ($1186) then those without paid leave entitlements ($567).


Trade union membership in main job

Of all employees, 1.8 million were trade union members in their main job. Of these:
  • 53% were male;
  • 93% had paid leave entitlements;
  • 31% were in the Professionals occupation group;
  • 19% in the Health care and assistance industry Division; and
  • 18% worked in the Education and training industry Division.


Without paid leave entitlements

In August 2011, 2.2 million (24%) employees 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:
  • 55% were female;
  • 20% were aged 15-19 years, and 59% were aged under 35 years;
  • 70% were part-time employees;
  • 21% were Sales workers; and
  • 20% were in the Accommodation and food services industry Division.


Types of paid leave entitlements

Employees can have a number of different paid leave entitlements, namely holiday leave, sick leave, long service leave and maternity/paternity leave.

In August 2011, 78% of employees had one or more paid leave entitlements while 22% had no paid leave entitlements at all. Only 42% reported that they had all paid leave entitlements2. The most common paid leave entitlements held by employees were paid holiday leave and/or paid sick leave (both 75%).

Comparisons for some key population groups in relation to whether employees had all of the paid leave entitlements show:
  • 47% of the 4.5 million female employees had all paid leave entitlements, compared with 36% of the 4.8 million male employees.which is driven by the differences in paid maternity/paternity leave for males and females.
  • 49% of the 6.4 million full-time employees had all paid leave entitlements, compared with 24% of the 2.9 million part-time employees; and
  • 72% of the 1.7 million employees in the public sector had all paid leave entitlements, compared with 35% of the 7.6 million employees in the private sector.

Overall, the industry Divisions with the highest proportion of employees with all of the paid leave entitlements were Public administration and safety (73%) and Financial and insurance services (69%). In contrast, only 10% of employees in the Accommodation and food services industry Division had all paid leave entitlements, while in the same industry Division, 63% had no paid leave entitlements.

Over half (61%) of the employees whose occupation was Professionals in August 2011 had all paid leave entitlements. In contrast, 22% of Sales workers and 20% of Labourers had all paid leave entitlements, while 45% of Sales workers and 44% of Labourers had no paid leave entitlements.


END NOTE

1. All references to "employees" in this section exclude owner managers of incorporated enterprises.

2. "All paid leave entitlements" refers to the entitlement of paid holiday leave, paid sick leave, paid long service leave and paid maternity/paternity leave.


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