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6359.0 - Forms of Employment, Australia, November 2012 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/04/2013   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


OVERVIEW

In November 2012, the Forms of Employment Survey (FOES) found there were nearly 11.5 million employed persons aged 15 years and over.1 Of these, 7.3 million (63%) were employees with paid leave entitlements in their main job, that is, they were entitled to paid sick and/or paid holiday leave. Of the remaining employed persons:

  • nearly 2.2 million were employees without paid leave entitlements (19%);
  • 980,000 were independent contractors (9%); and
  • just over 1.0 million were other business operators (9%) (Table 1).


ALL EMPLOYED PERSONS

Employed men were more likely than women to be independent contractors (12% compared to 5%) or other business operators (10% compared to 8%). As a result, employed women were more likely to be employees (87% compared to 78% for males).

Form of employment, By age group (years) - Males, 2012
Graph: Form of employment, By age group (years)—Males, 2012


Form of employment, By age group (years) - Females, 2012
Graph: Form of employment, By age group (years)—Females, 2012


Younger persons were most likely to be employees rather than independent contractors or other business operators. As age increases, generally the proportion of employees decreases, while the proportion of independent contractors and other business operators increase. However, being an employee was the most common form of employment for employed persons for all age ranges. For example:
  • 96% of employed persons aged 15-24 years were employees, 3% were independent contractors and 1% were other business operators;
  • 79% of employed persons aged 35-54 years were employees, 10% were independent contractors and 11% were other business operators; and
  • 59% of employed persons aged 65 years and over were employees, 16% were independent contractors and 25% were other business operators (Table 3).


EMPLOYEES

Of the 9.5 million persons who were employees, 52% were male.

Of the 7.3 million employees with paid leave entitlements, 54% were male (Table 1). Four out of five (80%) male employees had paid leave entitlements, compared to three out of four female employees (74%) (Table 7).


Industry
Employees, males, Selected industries of main job, 2012
Graph: Employees, males, Selected industries of main job, 2012


employees, females, Selected industries of main job, 2012
Graph: employees, females, Selected industries of main job, 2012


For males, the industry division with the most employees was Manufacturing (13%) followed by Construction (11%). However for females, the industry division with the most employees was Health care and social assistance (22%), followed by Retail trade (14%), and Education and training (13%) (Table 4).

The industry divisions with the highest proportion of males and females with paid leave entitlements were Financial and insurance services, and Mining (93% for both males and females in both industries). The industry division with the lowest proportion of males and females with paid leave entitlements was Accommodation and food services (42% and 32% respectively) (Table 7).


Occupation

Male employees were most likely to be in the occupations Technicians and trade workers (22%), and Professionals (19%). In contrast half of all female employees were concentrated in two occupations - Professionals (26%) and Clerical and administrative workers (24%) (Table 4).

For both male and female employees, the occupation group with the highest proportion of paid leave entitlements was Managers (95% and 91% respectively). This was followed by Professionals for both males and females (92% and 89% respectively).

The occupation group with the lowest proportion of male employees with paid leave entitlements was Labourers (56%). By comparison, for females it was the occupations of Sales workers, and Labourers (both 49%) (Table 7).


Full-time/Part-time Status

An estimated 6.6 million (70%) employees worked full-time in their main job. Most employees who worked full-time in their main job had paid leave entitlements (90%). By comparison, of the 2.8 million part-time employees, less than half (47%) had paid leave entitlements (Table 7).


Other employment characteristics

Other characteristics of employees in November 2012 included:
  • 22% had been with their current employer for less than one year, while 21% had been with their current employer for 10 years or more (Table 2);
  • 19% were aged 15-24 years, and 15% were aged 55 years and over (Table 3);
  • 39% had some say in their start and finish times (Table 5);
  • 69% worked weekdays only in their job/s2, while a further 30% worked both weekdays and weekends (Table 5); and
  • Only 4% worked on a fixed-term contract, of whom 53% were in the occupation of Professionals (Table 6).


INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

There were 980,000 persons who were independent contractors in their main job in November 2012. Independent contractors made up 9% of all employed people. The number of independent contractors had declined by 47,000 since November 2011, after a decline of 83,600 between 2010 and 2011 (Table 1).

The decrease was mostly driven by the decline in the number of male contractors between 2010 and 2012, down from 824,400 to 716,500 or 13%. In contrast, over the same period female contractors had declined from 286,100 to 263,400 (8%).


Hours Worked

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of independent contractors were male. Almost half (47%) of all independent contractors worked 40 hours or more in their main job in the week before they were interviewed (56% of males and 23% of females). While male independent contractors were more likely to have worked 40 hours or more compared to male employees (56% compared to 50%), female independent contractors were not more likely to have worked 40 hours or more than female employees (23% compared to 25%) (Table 2).

Male independent contractors were more likely to have worked longer hours than females. For example, 29% of male independent contractors worked 49 hours or more in their main job in the week before interview, compared with 12% of female independent contractors. This was higher than for employees (18% of men and 6% of women) (Table 2).


Industry

Independent contractors were most prevalent in the Construction industry (29%) followed by the Administrative and support services industry (21%). The industries with the highest proportion of male independent contractors were Construction (31%), followed by Administrative and support services (25%). These industries also had the highest proportion of female independent contractors (17% for both) (Table 4).


Occupation
Proportion of independent contractors, Males, Occupation of main job, 2012
Graph: Proportion of independent contractors, Males, Occupation of main job, 2012


proportion of Independent contractors, females, Occupation of main job, 2012
Graph: proportion of Independent contractors, females, Occupation of main job, 2012


For males, the occupations with the highest proportion of independent contractors were Technicians and trades workers (18%), followed by Labourers (13%) and Professionals (12%). These were also the same occupations for woman, but at lower rates (9%, 8% and 7% respectively) (Table 4).


Other employment characteristics

Three-quarters (76%) of independent contractors were usually able to work on more than one active contract at a time, however only just under half (48%) of all independent contractors had more than one active contract in the week before interview (Table 10).

Other characteristics of independent contractors in November 2012 included:
  • 61% had authority over their own work (62% of males and 58% of females) (Table 10);
  • 63% were able to (sub)contract their own work (66% of males and 57% of females);
  • 80% had no employees (77% of males and 86% of females) (Table 10);
  • 14% had been with their current business for less than one year, while 37% had been with their current business for 10 years or more (Table 2);
  • 83% had some say in their start or finish times (Table 5); and
  • 58% usually only worked weekdays in all of their job/s2, while a further 42% usually worked on both weekdays and weekends (Table 5).


OTHER BUSINESS OPERATORS

There were just over 1.0 million other business operators in November 2012 or 9% of employed persons, of whom 61% were male (Table 1).


Industry

Half of those employed in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry were other business operators (49% of males and 52% of females) (Table 4).


Occupation
proportion of other business operators, males, Occupation of main job, 2012
Graph: proportion of other business operators, males, Occupation of main job, 2012


proportion of other business operators, females, Occupation of main job, 2012
Graph: proportion of other business operators, females, Occupation of main job, 2012


The most common occupation of other business operators for both males and females was Managers (43% and 31% respectively) (Table 4). This is in line with the definition of other business operators - that they operate their own business and generally generate their income from managing their staff or selling goods or services to the public.

Over a quarter of all managers were other business operators (29% of males and 25% of females) (Table 4).


Other employment characteristics

Other characteristics of other business operators in November 2012 included:
  • 57% actually worked 40 hours or more in their main job in the reference week (71% of males and 34% of females), while almost two-thirds (65%) of these actually worked 49 or more hours in the reference week (Table 2);
  • 8% had been in their current business for less than one year, while almost half (49%) had been with their current business for 10 years or more (Table 2);
  • 87% had some say in their start or finish times (Table 5); and
  • 46% usually only worked weekdays in all of their job/s2, while a further 53% worked on both weekdays and weekends (Table 5).


END NOTE

1. Excluding contributing family workers.

2. See paragraph 19 of the Explanatory Notes for more information.


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