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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/01/2006   
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Contents >> Chapter 6 - Labour >> Employed people

EMPLOYED PEOPLE

People are considered to be employed if they were in paid work, or helping in a family business, for one hour or more in the reference week of the ABS Labour Force Survey (LFS). Those people who were absent from work in the reference week are also considered to be employed, unless they had been on unpaid leave for more than four weeks. This section contains information about people who are employed, including whether they worked full time or part time, the industry and occupation they worked in, and the characteristics of their employment arrangements.

Relating employment levels to population levels enables evaluation of the strength of job growth compared with population growth. The measure relating these two levels is the employment/population ratio. Its usefulness lies in the fact that, while movements in the employment level reflect net changes in the levels of people holding jobs, movements in the ratio reflect net changes in the number of people employed relative to changes in the size of the population.

The overall employment/population ratio rose from 59.0% in 1999-2000 to 60.7% in 2004-05 (table 6.9). In 2004-05 the employment/population ratio for men was considerably higher than for women (68.1% compared with 53.4%), which reflects the higher participation of men in the labour force.

6.9 EMPLOYED PERSONS, Employment/population ratios(a)

1999-2000
2000-01
2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
%
%
%
%
%
%

Males
67.4
67.3
67.0
67.2
67.6
68.1
Females
50.8
51.6
51.5
52.5
52.3
53.4
Persons
59.0
59.3
59.1
59.7
59.8
60.7

(a) The employment/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, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (6291.0.55.001).


FULL-TIME AND PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT

In the LFS, 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, although usually working less than 35 hours a week, 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 6.10 shows annual percentage changes in part-time and full-time employment since 1984-85. For most of this period, part-time employment increased at a greater rate than full-time employment. As a result, the proportion of part-time employed people has risen over the period, from 18% in 1984-85 to 28% in 2004-05. However, between 2002-03 and 2003-04, full-time employment increased at a greater rate than part-time employment - the first time this had happened since the commencement of the monthly LFS in 1978.

Following a period of strong economic growth in the late-1980s and early-1990s, and the subsequent recession of the early-1990s, employment growth fluctuated considerably. In 1988-89 growth in full-time employment peaked at 3.6%. Part-time employment grew strongly in 1986-87 (8.4%) and 1989-90 (8.2%). Subsequently the rate of growth of full-time and part-time employment began to slow. At the onset of the economic downturn in 1990-91, full-time employment fell by 1.6%. The impact of the downturn and its effects on the demand for labour intensified in 1991-92 when full-time employment fell more strongly (down 3.4%). At the same time, the rate of growth of part-time employment increased slightly from 3.2% in 1990-91 to 3.8% in 1991-92.

A similar pattern was evident in 2001-02, when a decrease in full-time employment was accompanied by growth in part-time employment.

Graph 6.10: EMPLOYED PERSONS, Percentage change in annual average employment


In 2004-05 there were 9.8 million employed people, with 71% working full time (table 6.11). Men were far more likely than women to work full time (85% and 55% respectively). Part-time work was most prevalent among the younger (aged 15-19 years) and older (65 years and over) age groups (66% and 52% respectively). For women, at least a third of each age group worked part time, with the 20-24 years and 25-34 years age groups having the lowest proportion of part-time workers (39% and 35% respectively).

6.11 EMPLOYED PERSONS(a), Full-time and part-time workers - 2004-05

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
158.0
428.5
1,126.9
1,203.2
1,073.8
383.5
185.1
71.1
4,630.1
Part-time workers
’000
199.6
136.0
110.7
95.4
96.8
59.0
52.3
58.3
808.1
Total
’000
357.6
564.5
1,237.6
1,298.6
1,170.6
442.5
237.5
129.4
5,438.2
Proportion of part-time workers
%
55.8
24.1
8.9
7.3
8.3
13.3
22.0
45.0
14.9

FEMALES

Full-time workers
’000
87.1
306.4
640.4
543.9
589.9
168.0
57.8
18.3
2,411.7
Part-time workers
’000
271.1
198.7
339.2
496.4
423.2
146.6
80.6
39.1
1,994.8
Total
’000
358.2
505.0
979.5
1,040.3
1,013.1
314.5
138.4
57.4
4,406.5
Proportion of part-time workers
%
75.7
39.3
34.6
47.7
41.8
46.6
58.2
68.1
45.3

PERSONS

Full-time workers
’000
245.1
734.9
1,767.3
1,747.1
1,663.7
551.5
242.9
89.4
7,041.8
Part-time workers
’000
470.7
334.6
449.9
591.8
520.0
205.5
132.9
97.4
2,802.9
Total
'000
715.8
1,069.5
2,217.2
2,338.9
2,183.7
757.0
375.8
186.8
9,844.7
Proportion of part-time workers
%
65.8
31.3
20.3
25.3
23.8
27.2
35.4
52.1
28.5

a) Annual average.

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 over time, provide an important insight into the structure of the labour market. Graph 6.12 shows the proportion of employed people, by industry, for the years 1989-90 and 2004-05.

Since 1989-90 the industry composition of the labour market has changed considerably. Historically, the manufacturing industry has been the largest employing industry, but its contribution to the number of employed people has been declining. As recently as 1990-91, the manufacturing industry was the largest employer. However, in 2004-05, it is third to the retail trade and the property and business services industries, which have 15% and 12% of employed people respectively. Manufacturing has fallen from 15% of all employed people in 1989-90 to 11% in 2004-05. Employment in other traditional commodity-based industries, such as the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry, and mining have also fallen over this period.

Over the period 1989-90 to 2004-05, service-based industries have increased their share of employed people and now include the two largest industries. The increase was greatest for the property and business services industry (from 8% to 12%) while health and community services has risen from 8% to 10%, accommodation, cafes and restaurants from 4% to 5%, and retail trade from 14% to 15%.

Graph 6.12: EMPLOYED PERSONS(a), By industry(b)


Table 6.13 shows the proportion of employed people in each broad occupation group by age, for 2004-05. The most common occupation group was professionals (19%), followed by intermediate clerical, sales and service workers (17%). Advanced clerical and service workers was the least prevalent occupation group (4%).


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, less than 1% of the 15-19 year age group and less than 2% of the 20-24 year age group were employed as managers and administrators, while at the other end of the age spectrum, in the age group 65 years and over, 27% were employed in this occupation group. In the 15-19 year age group, 39% of people were employed as elementary clerical, sales and service workers, and a further 17% as labourers and related workers. The proportion of 20-24 year olds employed in these occupation groups was considerably lower (17% and 10% respectively), and was also lower for all other age groups.

6.13 EMPLOYED PERSONS(a), By occupation(b) - 2004-05

Age group (years)

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

Managers and administrators
%
0.4
1.8
6.6
9.9
10.4
12.1
13.5
26.8
8.3
Professionals
%
1.7
12.4
22.7
20.0
21.5
19.0
19.7
19.1
18.7
Associate professionals
%
3.2
9.1
13.5
14.4
14.1
14.4
11.8
10.9
12.6
Tradespersons and related workers
%
14.8
15.3
14.1
12.1
10.9
10.6
11.7
8.9
12.6
Advanced clerical and service workers
%
0.9
3.0
3.8
4.3
3.9
4.6
3.9
3.3
3.7
Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers
%
16.2
24.1
16.8
15.8
15.9
14.2
12.2
8.7
16.6
Intermediate production and transport workers
%
7.2
7.3
7.9
9.0
8.5
9.9
10.1
7.8
8.4
Elementary clerical, sales and service workers
%
38.9
17.2
6.8
6.3
6.1
6.7
7.0
7.6
9.9
Labourers and related workers
%
16.5
9.8
7.7
8.3
8.7
8.5
10.0
6.9
9.0
All occupations
%
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Persons
'000
702.8
1,057.7
2,213.0
2,338.3
2,182.6
751.1
371.8
182.8
9,800.0

(a) Annual average of quarterly data.
(b) Occupation of main job; classified according to the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations.

Source: Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (6291.0.55.001).


There are large gender differences in occupations. Women are more likely to be employed in clerical occupations groups, such as advanced clerical and service workers; intermediate clerical, sales and service workers; and elementary clerical, sales and service workers. Men are more likely to be employed in the trade occupations, including tradespersons and related workers, and intermediate production and transport workers (graph 6.14). For example, a higher proportion of men were employed as tradespersons and related workers (21% compared with 3% of women), while a higher proportion of women were employed as intermediate clerical, sales and service workers (27% compared with 8% of men).

Graph 6.14: EMPLOYED PERSONS(a), By occupation(b) - 2004-05


CHARACTERISTICS OF EMPLOYMENT

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

Employment type

The ABS has developed a time series on the types of employment that people have, including employees who are not entitled to paid sick or holiday leave ('casual' employees), and people who operate their own business. The series was derived by combining data from the LFS and the annual ABS Survey of Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership. Employed people were classified to one of five employment types on the basis of their main job, that is, the job in which they usually worked the most hours. The employment types are: employees with paid leave entitlements; employees without paid leave entitlements; owner managers of incorporated enterprises; owner managers of unincorporated enterprises; and contributing family workers. For more detail see the article 'Changes in types of employment' in the October 2004 issue of Australian Labour Market Statistics (6105.0).

Of the 9.6 million employed people at August 2004, over half (59%) were employees with paid leave entitlements (table 6.15). Other large groups were employees without paid leave entitlements (20%) and owner managers of unincorporated enterprises (14%).

Although the proportion of employed people who worked as employees with paid leave entitlements was similar for men (58%) and women (60%), more women were employees without paid leave entitlements (26%) than men (16%). The proportion of men working in their own business was higher than for women (25% compared with 14%).

6.15 EMPLOYED PERSONS, Distribution by type of employment – August 2004

Employees(a) with paid
leave entitlements
Employees(a) without
paid leave entitlements
Owner
managers of
incorporated
enterprises
Owner managers of unincorporated enterprises
Contributing family
workers
Total
Total
%
%
%
%
%
%
'000

Males
58.4
16.2
8.4
16.7
0.3
100.0
5,278.2
Females
59.9
25.7
4.1
9.7
0.5
100.0
4,299.8
Persons
59.1
20.5
6.5
13.6
0.4
100.0
9,578.0

(a) Excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises.

Source: Australian Labour Market Statistics, Datacubes (6105.0).


Between 1992 and 2004, employees without paid leave entitlements rose as a proportion of total employment, from 17% to 21% (graph 6.16). Most of this increase occurred prior to 1998. Although owner managers as a proportion of the total employed remained stable between 1992 and 2004, the split between incorporated and unincorporated enterprises has changed. Owner managers of incorporated enterprises increased as a proportion of total employed from 5% in 1992 to 6% in 2004, while owner managers of unincorporated enterprises fell as a proportion of total employed from 15% in 1992 to 14% in 2004.

Graph 6.16: TYPES OF EMPLOYMENT, Proportion of employed - August


Hours worked

Hours worked data have a wide range of uses, including the calculation of labour productivity, and monitoring 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 measures of those wanting to work more hours).

The LFS now records weekly hours worked data for employed people on three different bases:
  • Actual hours worked in all jobs refers to hours actually worked in the survey reference week, including overtime and excluding time off
  • Actual hours worked in main job refers to hours actually worked (including overtime and excluding any time off) in the job which the most hours are usually worked
  • Usual hours worked in all jobs refers to the normal working pattern over the past three months in all jobs, including overtime if that was a regular part of work over that period.

The data for the latter two measures are available from April 2001, while the first measure has been collected since the national LFS began in the 1960s.

Graph 6.17 shows average weekly hours worked for employed people for the three measures of hours worked. Average weekly hours worked is defined as aggregate 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. customs in taking leave at particular times of the year), economic factors (e.g. workplace-related influences such as seasonal employment), and 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 job 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 over the period since April 2001. This is because the usual hours worked series is not affected by the seasonal factors and absences from work that lead to fluctuations in the actual hours worked series.


Graph 6.17: EMPLOYED PERSONS, Average weekly hours worked


Actual hours worked in all jobs

Graph 6.18 shows in June 2005, 37% of employed men actually worked between 35 and 44 hours per week, and a further 36% actually worked 45 hours or more per week. In contrast, women were most likely to have worked between 16 and 34 hours per week (32%), or between 35 and 44 hours (31%). women who actually worked 45 hours or more per week made up 13% of all employed women.


Graph 6.18: EMPLOYED PERSONS(a), Actual hours worked in all jobs - June 2005


Average weekly hours actually worked by full-time employed people rose from 38.8 hours in 1984-85 to a peak of 41.4 hours in 1999-2000, an increase of 7% (graph 6.19). In 2004-05, full-time employed people worked an average of 40.7 hours per week, up from the 40.4 hours per week recorded in 2003-04.


Graph 6.19: AVERAGE WEEKLY ACTUAL HOURS WORKED(a), Full-time employed persons(b)


Graph 6.20 shows that from 1984-85 to 2004-05 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. In 1984-85, 8% of all hours actually worked were in part-time employment; by 2004-05 this proportion had risen to 14%. For men, 6% of the total number of hours actually worked were in part-time employment in 2004-05, whereas for women the proportion was much greater (26%).

Graph 6.20: PART-TIME HOURS AS A PROPORTION OF TOTAL ACTUAL HOURS WORKED(a)


Usual hours worked in all jobs

Graph 6.21 shows average weekly hours usually worked in all jobs, by occupation, for full-time employed people. In 2004-05, managers and administrators had the highest average weekly usual hours for full-time employed men (51.6 hours per week) and women (46.9), followed by associate professionals (48.0 and 44.2). The occupations with the lowest average weekly hours usually worked were elementary clerical, sales and service workers (42.5 hours per week for men and 39.3 hours per week for women), and intermediate clerical, sales and service workers (42.8 for men and 39.8 for women).

Graph 6.21: AVERAGE WEEKLY HOURS USUALLY WORKED(a), Full-time employed persons, By offupation(b) - 2004-05


Table 6.22 shows that the overall average weekly hours usually worked for men (41.5) was over ten hours greater than for women (31.0). This was partly due to men working longer average weekly hours in full-time employment (45.7) than women (41.6), and also because women were more likely than men to work part time.

6.22 EMPLOYED PERSONS(a), Average weekly hours usually worked(b) - 2004-05

Males
Females
Persons
hours
hours
hours

Full-time workers
45.7
41.6
44.3
Part-time workers
17.9
18.3
18.2
All workers
41.5
31.0
36.8

(a) Annual average.
(b) Estimates refer to usual hours worked, not hours paid for.

Source: Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (6291.0.55.001).


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