1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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Industry structure and performance


Another measure of the significance of an industry is its contribution to total employment. Employment (and unemployment) data are used as social indicators by government, and research and welfare organisations. Employment is also an indicator of economic activity, although turning points in the employment series tend to lag turning points in the business cycle.

Graph 15.4 shows shares of total employment in 2000–01 and 2010–11, classified by industry according to ANZSIC 2006. These data were derived from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey and relate to the civilian population aged 15 years and over. The data reflect averages across the four quarters of each year to remove seasonal effects. People are considered to be employed if they were in paid work for one hour or more in the reference week, or worked for one hour or more without pay in a family business or farm. Employment is further described in chapter 8 LABOUR.

In 2010–11, 11.4 million people were employed across all industries. From an industry perspective, the Health care and social assistance industry employed the greatest number of people (1.3 million persons or 11.4% of total employment). The next largest industry was Retail trade (10.9%), followed by Construction (9.1%) and Manufacturing (8.6%).

These industries were also the main employing industries in 2000–01, although Health care and social assistance has displaced Manufacturing as the largest employer. Between 2000–01 and 2010–11, the Health care and social assistance share of total employment increased by 1.8 percentage points and the Construction industry share of total employment increased by 1.7 percentage points. Conversely, Manufacturing’s share of total employment declined by 3.1 percentage points.

15.4 Contribution to Total Employment(a)

The industry composition of average weekly paid hours for wage and salary earners provides an insight into the labour market. Data on this topic are obtained from the biennial Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, conducted by the ABS. This survey covers all employing organisations in Australia (public and private sectors) except enterprises primarily engaged in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry, private households employing staff, and foreign embassies and consulates.

Graph 15.5 shows average weekly total paid hours for full-time non-managerial adult employees by industry in May 2010 compared with the average for all industries in the period (39.4 hours). Total paid hours are equal to ordinary time paid hours plus overtime paid hours. The highest average weekly total paid hours for full-time non-managerial adult employees was in the Mining industry (44.3 hours), followed by Construction (42.0 hours) and Transport, postal and warehousing (41.5 hours). The industries with the lowest average weekly total paid hours were Education and training (37.3 hours) and Information media and telecommunications (37.9 hours).

Paid overtime accounted for 3.3% of average weekly total paid hours for full-time non-managerial adult employees. Employees worked the most paid overtime in Construction (8.1% of average weekly total paid hours for that industry), followed by Electricity, gas, water and waste services (7.4%); Transport, postal and warehousing (7.2%); and Manufacturing (5.9%).

Graph 15.5 Average weekly total paid hours for Full-time non-managerial adult employees(a), Difference from all industries average(b) - May 2010

Compensation of employees (COE) is both an economic and social indicator. COE includes wages and salaries (paid in cash and in kind) and employer social contributions (e.g. employers’ contributions to superannuation and workers’ compensation premiums). Wages and salaries, in kind, can include meals, housing, uniforms and vehicles.

Graph 15.6 shows industry shares of total compensation of employees in 2010–11, by industry. In this period, total compensation of employees was $666 billion. Total wages and salaries was $595 billion (89% of total compensation of employees).

The industries that held the largest share of total compensation of employees were Health care and social assistance and Financial and insurance Services (both 10.1%), followed by Manufacturing (9.2 %) and Professional, scientific and technical services (8.5%). Three of these industries (Health care and social assistance, Manufacturing, and Professional, scientific and technical services) were in the top five industries that had the highest share of total employment in 2010–11.

15.6 Contribution to Total Compensation of Employees(a) - 2010-11


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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.