6333.0 - Characteristics of Employment, Australia, August 2018 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/11/2018   
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KEY FINDINGS

AUSTRALIANS

In 2018, the median weekly earnings of all Australians was $10661. This means that half of all Australians earned less than $1066 per week.

    • 25 per cent earned less than $680 per week
    • 75 per cent earned less than $1578 per week
    • 90 per cent earned less than $2228 per week

The median hourly earnings of all Australians was $31.30 per hour.

The median earnings of full-time workers was $1320 per week, and for part-time workers it was $530 per week.

Male full-time workers earned a median pay of $1400 per week, and female full-time workers earned $1229. Males who worked full-time earned a median hourly rate of $34.90 per hour, and females who worked full-time earned $32.90 per hour.

Females who worked part-time had median earnings of $550 per week, and median earnings for males who worked part-time was $480 per week. The median hourly rate for female part-time workers was $27.50 per hour and males who worked part-time earned a median rate of $25.30 per hour.

Chart 1: Employees Median Weekly Earnings in Main Job by Sex

Chart 2: Employees Median Hourly Earnings in Main Job by Sex

Source: Tables 2


STATES AND TERRITORIES

In 2018, the Australian Capital Territory was the region with the highest median earnings for employees at $1,300 per week, followed by the Northern Territory at $1,204. South Australia and Tasmania had the lowest median earnings for employees at $1,000 and $961 respectively (Chart 3).

Of the state capital cities, Perth held the highest median weekly earnings for employees at $1,167 per week, ahead of Sydney and Brisbane with $1,100. Regional South Australia had the lowest overall median earnings for employees at $922.

Chart 3: Employees Median Weekly Earnings in Main Job by State and Territory

Source: Table 2


INDUSTRY OF MAIN JOB

The top three industries with the highest median weekly earnings for employees were Mining ($1,950), Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services ($1,500), and Financial and Insurance Services ($1,434). The industries with the lowest median weekly earnings for employees were Retail Trade ($700) Arts and Recreation Services ($699), and Accommodation and Food Services ($500).

Chart 4: Employees Median Weekly Earnings in Main Job by Industry

The industries with the biggest gap between the median hourly earnings of men and women employees were Financial and Insurance Services ($47 per hour for men, $37 for women), Professional, Scientific and Technical Services ($43 for men, $36 for women) and Education and Training ($44 for men, $37 for women). Industries with similar median hourly earnings for men and women employees (a gap of $1.50 or less) were:
    • Mining;
    • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing;
    • Accommodation and Food Services;
    • Arts and recreation services;
    • Retail Trade;
    • Wholesale Trade; and
    • Transport, postal and warehousing.

Source: Table 3

OCCUPATION AND SKILL LEVEL OF MAIN JOB

Employees with a high skill level job (skill level 1) had a middle range (interquartile range) of earnings between $1,080 and $2,090 per week. In contrast, employees in low skilled jobs (skill level 5) had middle range earnings between $300 and $914.

Managers had the largest gap between the median hourly earnings of men and women ($46 per hour for men, $40 for women), followed by Professionals ($47 for men, $43 for women).

Source: Table 4


HIGHEST NON-SCHOOL QUALIFICATION

Employees with a Postgraduate degree, Graduate diploma or Graduate Certificate had the highest median earnings of $1,500 per week, compared with $1,300 for those with a Bachelor degree, and $1,087 for those with a Certificate III/IV qualification (Chart 5).

Employees who had a non-school qualification had median weekly earnings which were $356 higher than employees without a non-school qualification (Chart 5).

Chart 5: Employees Median Weekly Earnings in Main Job by Educational Attainment

Source: Table 5


INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

Additional questions in the Characteristics of Employment survey allow for employment relationships to be reclassified using the Form of Employment in main job classification (see Forms of Employment (Appendix)).This enables people’s employment relationships to be classified as either:
    • Employees;
    • Independent Contractors; or
    • Other Business Operators.

Of the 12.6 million people who were employed in August 2018, approximately 8% were classified as Independent Contractors. Of these, 37% stated they did not have sole authority over their work.
The industries with the highest proportion of Independent Contractors were:
    • Construction (26%); and
    • Administrative and Support Services (20%).
    Chart 6: Share of Employees Classified as Independent Contractors by Industry of Main Job
    The occupations with the highest proportions of Independent Contractors were:
      • Technicians and trades workers (16%);
      • Labourers (11%); and
      • Professionals (9%).

    Chart 7: Share of Employees Classified as Independent Contractors by Occupation of Main Job

    Source: Tables 9 to 11


    TRADE UNION MEMBERSHIP

    Of the 10.5 million employees who were surveyed in August 2018, 15% reported being a member of a Trade Union associated with their main job. The median earnings for employees who were Trade Union members in their main job were $1,300 per week, compared with $1,025 for employees who were not members of a Trade Union related to their main job.

    The proportion of employees who reported being Trade Union members in their main job varied depending on their Industry and Occupation (Charts 8 and 9). The industries with the highest proportion of employees who were Trade Union members were:
      • Education and Training (33%);
      • Public Administration and Safety (30%); and
      • Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services (29%).

    Chart 8: Share of Employees who are Members of a Trade Union in their Main Job by Industry
    The occupations which recorded the highest proportion of employees who were Trade Union members were:
      • Professionals (21%);
      • Machinery Operators and Drivers (19%); and
      • Community and Personal Service Workers (18%).

    Chart 9: Share of Employees who are Members of a Trade Union in their Main Job by Occupation

    Source: Tables 3 and 4


    LABOUR HIRE

    Four per cent of employees reported being registered with a labour hire firm or employment agency. Of these, 32% reported they were paid by a labour hire firm or employment agency.

    The median weekly earnings for employees who were paid by a labour hire or employment agency were $1,023, versus $1,071 for employees who were not registered with a labour hire or employment agency.

    The occupations with the highest proportion of employees who were paid by a labour hire firm or employment agency were:
      • Machinery Operators and Drivers (3%); and
      • Labourers (2%).

    Source: Tables 13

    CASUAL EMPLOYMENT

    One of the main indicators for casual employment is whether an employee is entitled to paid leave, such as paid sick leave or paid annual leave. These entitlements are usually reserved for non-casual or permanent employment.

    In August 2018, 25% of employees were not entitled to paid leave (2.6 million). Of those who work part-time in their main job, 53% were not entitled to paid leave (1.8 million).

    Quarterly measures of paid leave entitlements have been collected in the Labour Force Survey since August 2014, and are available in Table 13 of Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003).

    There are several other indicators of casual employment. For employees in August 2018:
      • 24% have earnings that vary from one period to the next (excluding overtime payments) (2.5 million);
      • 21% do not usually work the same number of hours each week (2.2 million); and
      • 19% do not have a guaranteed minimum number of hours each week (2.0 million).
    Chart 10: Share of Part-time Employees by Various Indicators of Casual Employment

    Source: Tables 1c and 7


    1 In August 2018, there was an increase in the number of respondents who chose not to provide information about their earnings in main job. Analysis has shown that the usual process of imputing for this missing data has not significantly impacted median earnings estimates. More details are provided in paragraphs 21 and 22 of the Explanatory notes. For more information, please contact labourforce@abs.gov.au

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