Table 13.4 shows that, over the period 1991-92 to 1999-2000, hours worked for all industries combined increased on average by 2% per year. The most substantial average annual increase was recorded in the Property and business services industry (up 6%); the most substantial average annual fall was in the Electricity, gas and water supply industry (down 5%).
In 1999-2000, hours worked fell in Mining (down 6%), Electricity, gas and water supply, Education, and Government administration and defence (all down 1%).
The reductions in hours worked should be considered in the context of the corresponding increases in labour productivity achieved by some industries. Most notably Electricity, gas and water supply, which shows an average annual decrease in hours worked since 1991-92 of 5% per year, shows an average annual increase in labour productivity of 7% over this period. This issue is discussed in greater depth in the next section, Changes in labour productivity.
It is interesting to compare the growth in hours worked with the growth in wages over the same period. In the Manufacturing industry, hours worked hardly changed over the period 1991-92 to 1999-2000, while wages for this industry grew at an average annual rate of 4%. Across all industries, the average annual change in wages was 6% per year, compared with an average change in hours worked of 2% per year.
In evaluating changes in hours worked, it is important to recognise that industry restructuring, outsourcing of some functions and contract employment have impacted more substantially on some industries than others. More detail on employment changes over time is included see Labour.
13.4 INDEXES OF HOURS WORKED(a), By Industry
Change from 1998-99
Average annual rate of growth
1991-92 to 1999-00
|Agriculture, forestry and fishing |
|Electricity, gas and water supply |
|Wholesale trade |
|Retail trade |
|Accommodation, cafes and restaurants |
|Transport and storage |
|Communication services |
|Finance and insurance |
|Property and business services |
|Government administration and defence |
|Health and community services |
|Cultural and recreational services |
|Personal and other services |
|All industries |
|(a) Reference year 1998-99 = 100. |
Source: Australian System of National Accounts, 1999-00 (5204.0).