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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2002   
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Contents >> Industry Overview >> Number of businesses and employment by size of business

This section outlines the growth in the number of Australian businesses, and in their employment, by employment size group, in 1999-2000 and over the ten year period from 1989-90 to 1999-2000. The analysis and tables cover businesses other than government enterprises and those classified to the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industries.

Table 13.7 shows details of the change in the number of businesses by employment size group, while table 13.8 shows the change in employment across the different employment size categories.

The tables show that in 1999-2000 there were 1,114,500 non-agricultural private sector businesses operating in Australia, employing around 6.7 million people. Over the period from 1989-90 to 1999-2000, the total number of businesses increased by an average of 3.3% per year, while the total number of persons working grew at 1.9% per year. By comparison, during the twelve month period 1998-99 to 1999-2000 the number of businesses grew by 2.5%, and the number of persons working increased by only 1.1%.

Over the period 1989-90 to 1999-2000 the average annual rate of growth in numbers of businesses varied across the different size categories, ranging from 0.1% for businesses with 200 or more employees to 4.9% per year for businesses with 1-4 employees. Changes over the twelve month period 1998-99 to 1999-2000 were even more variable, with decreases at either end of the size spectrum. The number of businesses with 200 or more employees fell by 1.1%, the number of businesses with 100 to 199 employees fell by 0.8% and the number of 'micro' businesses (1 to 4 employees) fell by 0.6%. In contrast, the number of businesses with 5 to 19 employees (i.e. other small businesses) grew by 4.6% over the 12 months from 1998-99 to 1999-2000.

Change in the number of persons employed across the different size categories generally reflected the change in numbers of businesses, with the size group 1-4 employees recording the strongest average annual growth rate (3.7%) over the period from 1989-90 to 1999-2000. In contrast, over the period from 1998-99 to 1999-2000 this size group recorded the largest decrease in number of employees (1%). Over the same period there was a decline in the number of working proprieters and partners of 3.5%, but there was an increase in own account workers of 4.4%.


13.7 NUMBER OF BUSINESSES(a), By Employment Category of Business

Employment category
1999-00

’000
Change from
1998-99

%
Average annual
rate of growth
1989-90 to 1999-00

%

Non-employing businesses
542.1
4.2
2.3
1-4 employees
365.7
-0.6
4.9
5-19 employees
167.1
4.6
3.5
20-99 employees
33.2
2.7
2.2
100-199 employees
3.7
-0.8
2.5
200 or more employees
2.7
-1.1
0.1
Total
1,114.5
2.5
3.3

(a) Excludes public trading and general government entities, and businesses in the Agriculture, fishing and forestry industries.

Source: Small Business in Australia Update 1999-2000 (1321.0.55.001); ABS data available on request.


13.8 PERSONS EMPLOYED(a), By Employment Category of Business

1999-00

’000
Change from
1998-99

%
Average annual
rate of growth
1989-90 to 1999-00

%

Persons working in their own businesses -
- Own account workers
687.4
4.4
2.3
- Working proprietors and partners in employing businesses
289.2
-3.5
-0.8
Employees -
- Employees in businesses employing 1-4 persons
760.2
-1.0
3.7
- Employees in businesses employing 5-19 persons
1,444.2
3.6
3.0
- Employees in businesses employing 20-99 persons
1,287.3
0.7
1.8
- Employees in businesses employing 100-199 persons
512.6
-0.9
2.0
- Employees in businesses employing 200 or more persons
1,753.9
0.6
1.0
Total employees
5,758.2
1.0
2.0
Total persons working
6,734.8
1.1
1.9

(a) Excludes persons employed by public trading and general government entities, and by businesses in the Agriculture, fishing and forestry industries.

Source: Small Business in Australia Update 1999-2000 (1321.0.55.001); ABS data available on request.


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