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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Contents >> Labour >> Employment by industry and occupation

The distribution of employed persons across industries and occupations, and the changes over time, provide an important insight into the structure of the labour market. Graph 6.15 provides information on the proportion of employed persons, by industry, for the years 1986-87 and 2001-02.

Since 1986-87, the industry composition of the labour market has changed considerably. Historically, the Manufacturing industry has been the dominant employing industry, but its contribution to the number of employed persons has been declining. As recently as 1990-91, the Manufacturing industry was the largest employer; however, it is now second to Retail trade, which has 15% of employed persons. Manufacturing has fallen from 16% of all employed persons in 1986-87, and 15% in 1990-91, to 12% in 2001-02. Employment in other traditional commodity-based industries, such as Agriculture, forestry and fishing, and Mining, has also declined over this period.

Over the same period, service-based industries have increased their share of employed persons. Property and business services has increased markedly, from 7% to 11% of employed persons, to now rate as the third biggest employing industry, while Health has risen from 8% to 10%, and Accommodation, cafes and restaurants from 3% to 5%.

Graph - 6.15 Employed persons, By industry(a)



Table 6.16 shows the number of employed persons in each occupation by age. In 2001-02, the most common occupation was Professionals (18.5%), followed by Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers (17.1%). Advanced clerical and service workers was the least prevalent occupation (4.3%).

There is a correlation between age and occupation, with a higher proportion of employed persons in the younger age groups employed in the lower skilled occupations, and older age groups employed in the more highly skilled occupations.

This is particularly evident in the lower age groups. Of all employed persons aged 15-19, 39.9% were employed as Elementary clerical, sales and service workers, and a further 18.3% as Labourers and related workers. However, in the 20-24 year age group, the proportions in these occupations were lower (15.9% and 10.0% respectively), with 23.8% employed as Intermediate clerical, sales and related workers and 13.7% employed as Professionals (compared to 16.5% and 1.7% in the 15-19 year age group respectively).

In contrast, less than 1% of 15-19 year olds and 2% of 20-24 year olds were Managers and administrators, while at the other end of the age spectrum, in the age group 65 years and over, the highest proportion were Managers and administrators (28.0%).


6.16 EMPLOYED PERSONS, By occupation(a): Annual average(b) - 2001-02

Age group (years)

Units
15-19
20-24
25-34
35-44
45-54
55-59
60-64
65 and over
All age groups

Managers and administrators
%
0.4
1.7
5.9
8.9
10.2
12.2
15.5
28.0
7.8
Professionals
%
1.7
13.7
21.9
20.4
20.7
18.8
17.7
18.7
18.5
Associate professionals
%
2.6
8.0
12.5
13.0
13.8
13.5
13.0
12.2
11.8
Tradespersons & related workers
%
12.6
16.4
14.2
12.5
11.0
10.3
12.1
7.7
12.8
Advanced clerical & service workers
%
1.1
3.3
4.4
4.6
5.0
5.4
4.6
5.3
4.3
Intermediate clerical, sales & service workers
%
16.5
23.8
17.5
16.6
16.2
14.8
11.7
8.7
17.1
Intermediate production & transport workers
%
7.0
7.2
8.4
9.7
8.8
9.4
9.6
6.3
8.6
Elementary clerical, sales & service workers
%
39.9
15.9
7.1
6.1
5.9
6.1
6.7
5.8
9.8
Labourers and related workers
%
18.3
10.0
8.1
8.2
8.3
9.4
9.0
7.3
9.2
All occupations
%
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Number
'000
664.1
1,011.7
2,192.6
2,277.6
2,017.0
609.7
282.5
152.2
9,207.3

(a) Classified according to the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO).
(b) Annual average of quarterly data.

Source: Labour Force, Australia, June 2002 (6203.0).


There are large gender differences in occupations, with females dominating clerical occupations, for example, Advanced clerical and service workers, Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers, and Elementary clerical, sales and service workers; and males dominating the trades, for example, Tradespersons and related workers and Intermediate production and transport workers (graph 6.17). For example, a higher proportion of males were employed as Tradespersons and related workers (21% compared to 3% for females), while a higher proportion of females were employed as Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers (28% compared to 8% for males).

Graph - 6.17 Employed persons, By occupation(a) - 2001-02



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