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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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Labour

EMPLOYED PEOPLE

People are considered to be employed if they were in paid work or worked without pay in a family business, for one hour or more in the reference week of the ABS monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). People who were absent from work in the reference week of the survey were also considered to be employed, unless they had been on unpaid leave for more than four weeks. This section contains information on people who are employed, including whether they worked full-time or part-time, their industry and occupation, and the characteristics of their employment arrangements.

Measuring changes between employment levels and population levels enables evaluation of the strength of employment growth compared with population growth. The measure relating these two levels is the employment to population ratio. This ratio reflects net changes in the number of people employed, relative to changes in the size of the population, whereas movements in the employment level reflect net changes in the number of people holding jobs.

The employment to population ratio rose from 59% in 2001–02 to 62% in 2010–11 (table 8.15). As in previous years, in 2010–11, the employment to population ratio was higher for males than for females (69% compared with 56%), which reflects the higher participation of males in the labour force.

8.15 EMPLOYED PERSONS, Employment to population ratio(a)

2001–02
2002–03
2003–04
2004–05
2005–06
2006–07
2007–08
2008–09
2009–10
2010–11
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

Males
67.0
67.2
67.6
68.1
68.6
69.3
69.8
68.9
68.3
69.0
Females
51.5
52.4
52.3
53.3
54.3
55.1
55.8
55.9
55.4
55.8
Persons
59.1
59.7
59.8
60.6
61.4
62.1
62.7
62.3
61.8
62.4

(a) The employment to population ratio for any group is the annual average number of employed persons expressed as a percentage of the annual average civilian population aged 15 years and over in the same group.

Source: Labour Force, Australia (6202.0).


FULL-TIME AND PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT

Employed people are regarded as either full-time or part-time workers depending on the number of hours worked. Full-time workers are those who:
  • usually work 35 hours or more per week in all jobs or
  • usually work less than 35 hours a week but actually worked 35 hours or more during the reference week of the LFS.
Part-time workers are those who usually work less than 35 hours a week and either did so during the reference week, or were not at work during the reference week.

Graph 8.16 shows annual percentage changes in part-time and full-time employment from 1990–91 to 2010–11. The number of both full-time and part-time employed persons increased each year throughout the period except between 1990–91 and 1992–93 and in 2001–02 and 2009–10, when full-time employment decreased. Part-time employment has generally increased at a faster rate than full-time employment over the period. However, in recent periods and financial years (2003–05, 2006–08 and 2010–11), full-time employment grew at a faster rate.

The proportion of employed people who were working part-time was affected by these different rates of change, rising from 22% in 1990–91 to 30% in 2010–11.

Employment growth fluctuates during strong economic growth periods and economic downturns, with different patterns present for full-time and part-time employment. During periods of economic downturn, demand for labour changes, with full-time employment tending to fall and part-time employment tending to grow. This pattern of a decrease in full-time employment being accompanied by growth in part-time employment is shown in graph 8.16 in the early 1990s, 2001–02, and again in the period 2008–10.


8.16 Employed Persons, Change in annual average employment


In 2010–11, there were 11.4 million employed people, with almost three-quarters (70%) working full-time (table 8.17). Males were more likely than females to work full-time (84% compared with 54%). Part-time work was most prevalent among the younger (15–19 years) and older (65 years and over) age groups (69% and 53% respectively).


8.17 EMPLOYED PERSONS(a), Full-time and part-time workers—2010–11

Age group (years)

Units
15–19
20–24
25–34
35–44
45–54
55–59
60–64
65 and over
Total

MALES

Full-time workers
'000
141.6
466.3
1 280.0
1 288.0
1 181.2
451.8
281.0
119.4
5 209.2
Part-time workers
'000
207.2
177.7
150.3
106.9
120.3
66.7
85.0
97.5
1 011.6
Total
'000
348.8
644.0
1 430.3
1 394.9
1 301.5
518.5
366.0
216.9
6 220.8
Proportion of part-time workers
%
59.4
27.6
10.5
7.7
9.2
12.9
23.2
45.0
16.3

FEMALES

Full-time workers
'000
74.1
329.4
742.5
598.4
675.7
232.8
117.9
34.5
2 805.4
Part-time workers
'000
279.1
244.0
381.0
549.4
490.4
192.2
145.4
79.0
2 360.7
Total
'000
353.3
573.5
1 123.5
1 147.8
1 166.1
424.9
263.4
113.5
5 166.0
Proportion of part-time workers
%
79.0
42.6
33.9
47.9
42.1
45.2
55.2
69.6
45.7

PERSONS

Full-time workers
'000
215.7
795.8
2 022.5
1 886.4
1 856.8
684.5
398.9
153.9
8 014.5
Part-time workers
'000
486.3
421.7
531.3
656.4
610.7
258.9
230.5
176.5
3 372.3
Total
'000
702.1
1 217.5
2 553.9
2 542.7
2 467.6
943.4
629.3
330.4
11 386.9
Proportion of part-time workers
%
69.3
34.6
20.8
25.8
24.8
27.4
36.6
53.4
29.6

(a) Annual averages.
Source: Labour Force, Australia, Detailed – Electronic Delivery (6291.0.55.001).


EMPLOYMENT BY INDUSTRY AND OCCUPATION

The distribution of employed people across industries and occupations, and the changes in these over time, provide an important insight into the structure of the labour market. Graph 8.18 shows the proportion of employed people by industry, for the years 1990–91 and 2010–11.

The industry composition of the labour market has changed considerably over time. Historically, the Manufacturing industry has been the largest employing industry, but its contribution to the number of employed people has been declining. Over the past two decades, Manufacturing employment fell from 14% of all employed people in 1990–91 to 9% in 2010–11. The share of people employed in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry also fell over this period, from 6% to 3%. During the same period, the greatest increase in the share of employed people was in the Professional, scientific and technical services industry (from 5% to 8%), and the Health care and social assistance industry (8% to 11%).

8.18 Employed persons(a), By Industry(b)



Table 8.19 shows the distribution of employed people across each broad occupation group by age group for 2010–11. The occupation groups with the highest share of employed people were Professionals (22%), with Technicians and trade workers and Clerical and administration workers both 15%. The occupation group with the lowest share of employed people was Machinery operators and drivers (6%).

There is a correlation between age and occupation, with a higher proportion of younger workers employed in the lower-skilled occupations, and a higher proportion of older workers employed in the more highly skilled occupations. For example, only 1% of 15–19 year old workers were employed as Managers and only 2% as Professionals, while at the other end of the age spectrum, for those aged 65 years and over, 26% were employed as Managers and 20% as Professionals. In the 15–19 year age group, 37% of employed people were employed as Sales workers and a further 21% as Labourers. The proportion of 20–24 year olds employed as Sales workers (16%) was considerably lower than the proportion of 15–19 year olds employed in this occupation group. In contrast, there was a much higher proportion of 20–24 year olds than 15–19 year olds employed as Clerical and administration workers (14% compared with 7%).


8.19 EMPLOYED PERSONS(a), By occupation—2010–11

Age group (years)

Occupation Group(b)
15–19
20–24
25–34
35–44
45–54
55–59
60–64
65 and over
Total

Managers%
1.3
5.0
10.3
15.2
16.0
15.9
16.5
26.1
12.8
Professionals%
1.9
14.0
26.9
24.4
22.1
22.6
23.0
20.4
21.6
Technicians and trades workers%
15.2
19.3
16.7
14.7
13.1
13.0
11.4
10.6
14.9
Community and personal service workers%
13.3
14.7
8.6
8.5
9.2
7.8
7.6
4.8
9.4
Clerical and administrative workers%
7.4
14.0
14.2
15.3
16.0
16.8
15.0
14.0
14.6
Sales workers%
37.1
16.5
8.3
6.7
6.2
6.0
6.7
5.6
9.8
Machinery operators and drivers%
2.6
4.5
6.2
6.3
7.6
8.1
8.6
6.5
6.4
Labourers%
21.3
12.0
8.8
8.8
9.8
9.7
11.2
12.0
10.4
Persons'000
692.9
1 205.6
2 552.2
2 538.0
2 465.6
943.0
627.9
329.4
11 354.5
Total%
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

(a) Annual average of quarterly data.
(b) Classified according to ANZSCO – Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, First Edition, Revision 1, 2009 (1220.0).
Source: Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly (6291.0.55.003).


The occupation distribution in 2010–11 was markedly different for males and females. Females were more likely than males to be employed as Clerical and administration workers, Community and personal service workers and Sales workers. In contrast, males were more likely than females to be employed as Technicians and trades workers, Labourers and Machinery operators and drivers (graph 8.20). For example, in 2010–11, 24% of males were employed as Technicians and trades workers compared with 4% of females, while 24% of females were employed as Clerical and administrative workers compared with 7% of males. In the more highly skilled occupations, proportionally more males were employed as Managers (15% compared with 10% of females), while proportionally more females were employed as Professionals (25% compared with 19% of males).


8.20 Employed persons(a), By occupation (b) - 2010–11



CHARACTERISTICS OF EMPLOYMENT

Working life in Australia continues to change. There are more diverse employment arrangements, greater flexibility in work patterns, and more people working part-time. This section looks at the types of arrangements under which people are employed and the hours they work.

Employment type

Employed people are classified to one of five employment categories on the basis of their main job, that is, the job in which they usually work the most hours. When classifying people by employment type, owner managers of incorporated enterprises are distinguished from other employees. The employment types are:
  • employees (excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises) with paid leave entitlements
  • employees (excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises) without paid leave entitlements (a proxy for casual employment)
  • owner managers of incorporated enterprises
  • owner managers of unincorporated enterprises and
  • contributing family workers.

For more details see the article Employment classifications in Australian Labour Market Statistics, July 2011 (6105.0).

Table 8.21 shows the proportion of employed people (excluding contributing family workers) by employment type. Of the 11.3 million employed people at November 2010, over three-fifths (62%) were employees with paid leave entitlements and 20% were employees without paid leave entitlements. A further 11% were owner managers of unincorporated enterprises and 7% were owner managers of incorporated enterprises.

The proportion of employed people who worked as employees with paid leave entitlements was similar for males and females (61% and 63% respectively). However, a higher proportion of females were employees without paid leave entitlements than males (24% and 16% respectively) reflecting the fact that females are more likely to work part-time than males, and that part-time work is more closely associated with casual employment. A higher proportion of males were owner managers compared with females (23% and 13% respectively).

8.21 EMPLOYED PERSONS(a), By employment type—November 2010

Employees(b) with paid leave entitlements
Employees(b) without paid leave entitlements
Owner managers of incorporated enterprises
Owner managers of unincorporated enterprises
Total
%
%
%
%
'000

Males
60.8
16.2
9.3
13.7
6 192.4
Females
62.7
24.2
4.5
8.6
5 130.9
Persons
61.7
19.8
7.1
11.4
11 323.2

(a) Excludes persons who were contributing family workers in their main job.
(b) Excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises.
Source: Forms of Employment, Australia, November 2010 (6359.0).


The proportion of employees with paid leave entitlements remained relatively stable between 1996 and 2010, at between 60% to 62% of all employed persons (graph 8.22). The proportion of employees without paid leave entitlements also remained stable between 1996 and 2010, at around 20% of all employed persons. As a proportion of total employment, owner managers remained fairly stable between 1996 and 2010. However, the proportion of all owner managers who were working in an incorporated business increased, from 30% of all owner managers in 1996 to 38% in 2010.

8.22 Types of Employment, Proportion of employed



Hours worked

Hours worked statistics have a wide range of uses, including the calculation of labour productivity and monitoring of working conditions. Information on hours worked allows the ABS to classify employed people as full-time or part-time, and also to identify underemployed people (in conjunction with information about wanting to work more hours).

The LFS collects weekly hours worked data for employed people on three different bases:
  • Actual hours worked in all jobs – hours actually worked in the survey reference week, including overtime hours and excluding time off
  • Actual hours worked in main job – hours actually worked in the survey reference week (including overtime hours and excluding any time off) in the job in which the most hours are usually worked
  • Usual hours worked in all jobs – hours usually worked per week by an employed person.

Data for the last two measures are available from April 2001, while the first measure has been collected since the LFS began in the 1960s.

In addition to the three reference week measures outlined above, the ABS also produces an aggregate monthly hours worked series, which estimates the total number of actual hours worked by employed persons in a calendar month.

Graph 8.23 shows average weekly hours worked for employed people for each of the three measures. Average weekly hours worked is the hours worked by employed people during the reference week divided by the number of employed people.

The two ‘average weekly hours actually worked’ measures are influenced by seasonal factors (e.g. leave being taken at particular times of the year), economic factors (e.g. cuts to hours due to decreased demand), and other absences from work due to public holidays, sickness, irregular shifts, etc. Large movements occur around the months of January, April and October. The ‘average weekly hours worked in main job’ series closely follows the ‘average weekly hours worked in all jobs’ series, but at a slightly lower level. This indicates that the number of hours worked in second and subsequent jobs, averaged across all employed people, is relatively small.

Average weekly hours usually worked in all jobs exhibits much lower levels of variability. This is because the usual hours worked series is less affected by seasonal factors and not affected by absences from work that lead to fluctuations in the actual hours worked series.


8.23 Employed Persons, Average weekly hours worked



In 2010–11, more than a third (37%) of employed males worked between 35 and 44 hours per week, and a further 31% worked 45 hours or more per week (graph 8.24). Females were most likely to have worked between 35 and 44 hours per week or between 16 and 34 hours (at 31% each). Females who worked 45 hours or more per week made up 12% of all employed females.


8.24 Employed Persons(a), Actual hours worked in all jobs– 2010–11


Average weekly hours actually worked by full-time employed people rose from 40.6 hours in 1991–92 to a peak of 41.4 hours in 1999–2000, an increase of 2% (graph 8.25). Since 2008–09, full-time employed people worked an average of 39.8 hours per week. Full-time employed males worked an average of 41.2 hours per week in 2010–11, while full-time employed females worked an average of 37.2 hours per week.


8.25 Average weekly hours worked(a), Full-time employed persons(b)



From 1990–91 to 2010–11, there was a steady increase in the number of hours actually worked by part-time workers as a proportion of the total number of hours actually worked (graph 8.26). In 1990–91, 9% of all hours actually worked were by those in part-time employment; by 2010–11 this proportion had risen to 15%. For males, 7% of the total number of hours actually worked were by those in part-time employment in 2010–11, whereas for females, the proportion was 27%.


8.26 Part-time hours as a proportion of total actual hours worked(a)


Graph 8.27 shows average weekly hours usually worked in all jobs, by occupation, for full-time employed people. In 2010–11, Managers had the highest average weekly usual hours worked for full-time employed people (50.2 hours per week for males and 45.5 hours per week for females), followed by Machinery operators and drivers (46.2 hours and 41.6 hours respectively). The occupation with the lowest average weekly hours usually worked for full-time employed people was Clerical and administrative workers (42.1 hours per week for males and 39.6 hours per week for females).


8.27 Average Weekly Hours Usually Worked(a), Full-time employed persons by occupation(b)


In 2009, the ABS released a new hours worked series, 'aggregate monthly hours worked', which estimates the total number of actual hours worked by all employed persons in a calendar month. This series differs from the actual and usual hours worked series above since those series relate only to the hours worked in the reference week whereas aggregate monthly hours worked aims to account for the entire calendar month. Aggregate monthly hours worked is available as both seasonally adjusted and trend series. This allows for comparison between months, with the estimates having been adjusted for seasonality and the effects of holidays.

Actual and usual hours worked cannot be aggregated across time to produce either quarterly or annual estimates as they related to only a single week in the month. Therefore, the annual data presented in graphs 8.25 to 8.27 are annual averages. In contrast, aggregate monthly hours worked estimates represent the full calendar month, which can be aggregated across time to produce annual estimates.

The annual trend estimate of aggregate hours worked has generally increased since 1988–89. The only exception has been in the economic downturn in the early 1990s. Aggregate hours worked increased from 11,305 million hours in 1992–93 to 16,023 million hours in 2010–11. In 2010–11, males worked 9,867 million hours (62% of all hours worked), while females worked 6,149 million hours (graph 8.28).


8.28 Aggregate hours worked(a)

 

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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.


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