ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
This publication presents information about the weekly earnings and employment benefits received by employees, and their trade union membership.
The statistics in this publication were compiled from the Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership Survey conducted throughout Australia in August 2004 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS).
Data from the survey relate to employed persons aged 15 years and over who worked in their main job for a public or private sector employer (and either received remuneration in wages or salary, received a retainer fee from their employer while working on a commission basis, or were paid in tips or piece-rates) or operated their own incorporated enterprise with or without employees.
The survey provides statistics on the distribution of weekly earnings of employees, their entitlement to paid leave (holiday, sick, long service and maternity/paternity), superannuation coverage and trade union membership. This information can be cross-classified by a range of personal characteristics such as age, sex and family type, and by characteristics of employment such as full-time or part-time status, industry and occupation. This survey also provides statistics on other benefits (goods or services, transport, telephone, holiday expenses, medical, housing, low-interest finance, study leave, shares, union dues/professional association, electricity, entertainment, club fees, child care/educational expenses) which are collected on a five yearly basis.
NOTES ABOUT THE ESTIMATES
In August 2004, there were 2,924 cases where information relating to earnings was not provided by the respondent. Where this was the only information missing from the record, a value has been imputed based on other information provided such as age, sex, state or territory of usual residence, labour force characteristics, and known earnings of fully responding records with similar profiles (see paragraphs 27 and 28 of the Explanatory Notes). In 2003 and previous years, cases where information relating to earnings was not provided by the respondent were classified as 'could not be determined'.
A number of changes have been made to the publication since the 2003 edition. Two tables on 'Other employment benefits' have been added and two tables have been combined. As a result some tables have been renumbered.
As estimates have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Labour Household Surveys Section on Canberra (02) 6252 7206.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
MEAN WEEKLY EARNINGS OF EMPLOYEES
The mean (average) weekly earnings of employees in all jobs was $766 in August 2004, an increase of 4% ($32) since August 2003. The median weekly earnings was $673 (the median is the amount which divides the distribution of employees into two equal groups, one having earnings above and the other below that amount).
Mean weekly earnings of employees in all jobs have increased from $519 in August 1994 to $766 in August 2004, an increase of 48% over the decade. Changes in average earnings may be affected not only by changes in the level of earnings but also by changes in the overall composition of the employee workforce, including changes in the proportions of full-time and part-time employees and in the mix of occupations and industries.
Full-time workers who were employees in their main job earned, on average, $932 per week in all their jobs, an increase of 3% since August 2003. Mean weekly earnings were $997 for male full-time workers and $819 for female full-time workers in August 2004.
Part-time workers who were employees in their main job earned, on average, $348 per week in all jobs in August 2004. Mean weekly earnings for male part-time workers was $317, an increase of almost 8% since August 2003, and $358 for female part-time workers, an increase of 7% since August 2003.
EMPLOYEE LEAVE BENEFITS
In August 2004, three quarters (75%) of employees were entitled to one or more types of paid leave (holiday, sick, long service or maternity/paternity) in their main job. Those employed in the public sector were more likely to have one or more of these leave benefits than employees in the private sector (91% and 71% respectively).
The most commonly reported leave benefits were paid holiday leave (71%) and sick leave (71%), followed by long service leave (63%) and maternity/paternity (27%). In August 2004, the proportion of employees entitled to either paid holiday leave or paid sick leave, or both, was 72%, unchanged from August 2003.
Of the 28% of employees without paid holiday and/or sick leave entitlements in August 2004:
- 65% were part-time employees
- 53% were female
- 25% worked in the retail trade industry.
EMPLOYEES IN MAIN JOB, Leave entitlements(a)
|With leave entitlements|
|Without leave entitlements(b)|
|(a) Refers to the entitlement of employees to either paid holiday leave or paid sick leave, or both, in their main job.|
|(b) Includes persons who did not know if they were entitled to paid holiday leave and paid sick leave in their main job. See paragraph 20 of the Explanatory Notes.|
EMPLOYEE SUPERANNUATION BENEFITS
In August 2004, 90% of employees had superannuation provided by their current employer. A higher proportion of full-time employees were provided with superannuation by their current employer than part-time employees (96% and 77% respectively). Employees in the public sector were also more likely to be provided with superannuation by their current employer (97%), than employees in the private sector (89%).
OTHER EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
Information on additional non-leave employment benefits was also collected in August 2004. The benefits most commonly received by employees were goods or services (18%), transport (13%), telephone (9%) and shares (6%).
TRADE UNION MEMBERSHIP
In August 2004, there were 1,842,100 employees who were members of a trade union in conjunction with their main job. This was a 1% decrease on the number recorded in August 2003.
The proportion of full-time employees who were trade union members was higher than for part-time employees (25% and 17% respectively). A higher proportion of public sector employees were trade union members (46%) than private sector employees (17%).