8557.0 - Security Services, Australia, 1998-99  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/06/2000   
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June 28, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Almost 32,000 people employed in the security industry

Australia's security services businesses employed 31,752 people at the end of June 1999, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Of these, a little over half (51 per cent or 16,147 people) were involved in static guard/crowd control, 21 per cent were mobile guards, 13 per cent were managerial and administrative staff and 12 per cent were other security staff (including car crew and armoured vehicle operators).

The security services industry was dominated by males, who accounted for 81per cent of total employment at the end of June 1999. In total, 47 per cent worked on a casual basis.

At the end of June 1999, there were 1,714 businesses in the security services industry. The provision of static guard/crowd control services was the main activity of almost half (811 or 47 per cent) of businesses, the provision of mobile patrol services was the main activity of 420 businesses and 368 were mainly involved in private investigative and enquiry services.

Total income of the industry in 1998-99 was $1,395 million, of which 38 per cent ($532 million) was sourced from static guard and crowd control services, 23 per cent ($321 million) from mobile patrol services and 22 per cent ($312 million) from other security services including cash-in-transit and armoured car services.

In 1998-99, the operating profit before tax for the industry was $90 million, which represented an operating profit margin of 6.5 per cent.

Total expenses of the security services industry during 1998-99 were $1,304 million. Labour costs of $756 million represented 58 per cent of total expenses. The other significant expense was payments to sub-contractors for security services ($206 million). The average labour cost per employee was $24,200, which reflected the high incidence of casual and part-time employees in the industry.

At the end of June 1999, there were 1,006 businesses in the industry which employed less than 5 people. These micro businesses accounted for over half (59 per cent) of all businesses in the industry, but only 7 per cent of industry employment and 10% of industry income. At the other end of the scale there were 19 businesses (1 per cent of all businesses) employing 100 people or more, accounting for 54 per cent of industry employment, 63 per cent of industry income and 76 per cent of the operating profit before tax of the industry.

Further details can be found in Security Services, Australia 1998-99 (cat. no. 8557.0) available from ABS bookshops. The summary of the publication is also available on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.