The Economic Security section contains the following sub-topics:
Working population (labour force participation, employment conditions, underutilised labour, persons not in the labour force)
Earnings, income and economic situation (earnings, retirement income, superannuation, economic resources, financial stress)
Housing (Housing circumstances, including tenure and rental stress)
Detailed data for these sub-topics is available from the Downloads tab, above (see Table 1).
Labour force participation
In 2014-15, the labour force participation rate of people aged 20-74 years was 65.1% for women and 78.3% for men.
Between 2001-02 and 2014-15, the participation rate for women aged 55-64 increased from 38.3% to 56.5%, an increase of 18.2%: the highest increase in all age groups for both men and women over this time (see Figure 1 below, and Table 1.1 via the Downloads tab for more detail).
Footnote(s): (a) Data averaged using 12 months in the financial year. (b) See Table 1.1 for explanatory notes regarding revision of benchmarks for labour force data.
In 2014-15, over two in five employed women worked part time (43.8%), compared with 14.6% of employed men (see Table 1.9). This number rose to 62.2% for employed women with a child under 5 (while part-time rates for fathers of young children were just 7.7%).
In November 2014, over one in ten employed men and one in five employed women with dependent children did not have paid leave entitlements: 11.2% of partnered men and 11.3% who were lone parents, compared with 22.5% of partnered women, and 26.4% of women who were lone parents (see Table 1.11).
In 2014-15, 5.8% of men and 9.7% of women aged 20-74 in the labour force were underemployed; that is they wanted, and were available for, more hours of work than they currently had (see Table 1.15).
In 2013-14, 5.8% of women aged 20-74 who were born overseas were unemployed, compared with 4.8% of women born in Australia, 5.3% of men born overseas and 5% of men born in Australia. In 2012-13, unemployment rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women were 14.4% and 14.5% respectively (see Table 7.14).
Persons not in the labour force
Just over one in five Australian men aged 20-74 years was not in the labour force in 2014-15, compared with 34.9% of women aged 20-74. Rates changed by age for women, from just under a quarter of women aged 20-54 not in the labour force, to 85.9% of those aged 65-74. Rates for men were even more variable by age, with around 10% between the ages of 25 and 54 not in the labour force (see Figure 2 below, and Table 1.17 via the Downloads tab for more detail).
Footnote(s): (a) Data averaged using 12 months in the financial year.
In 2014 the average female wage was 87% of the average male wage (non-managerial adult hourly ordinary time cash earnings). The median female wage was 90% of the median male wage. This gap has remained relatively steady over the past decade (see Table 1.20).
Retirement income and Superannuation
In 2013-14, for people aged 65 years and over who were not in the labour force, a superannuation pension or annuity was the main source of income for 10.9% of women and 17.7% of men. Government pensions and allowances were the main source of income for 77.8% of women and 72.4% of men (see Table 1.24).
Men aged 55-64 in 2013-14 had a much higher average superannuation balance than women the same age: $321,993 compared with $180,013. There was less discrepancy between men and women aged 44 years and younger but male superannuation balances were still higher in every age group (see Table 1.25).
Just under a quarter (24.6%) of women aged 15-54 years had no superannuation, compared with 20.5% of men this age (see Table 1.26). People with a disability were more likely to have no superannuation coverage (30%) than those with no disability (22.5%). Around 32% of women born overseas had no superannuation coverage (see Table 7.26).
Low economic resource households
In 2013-14, women were slightly more likely overall to live in low economic resource households (20.5% compared with 19.5%), in line with the long term trend. However, the proportion of men aged 35-44 living in low economic resource households increased from 19.8% in 2011-12 to 24.3% in 2013-14, the highest increase across all age groups for both males and females since 2003-04 (see Figure 3 below, and Table 1.27 for more detail).
Footnote(s): (a) Income estimates from 2009–10, 2011–12 and 2013-14 are not directly comparable with estimates for 2003–04 and 2005–06 due to improvements made to measuring income.
In 2013-14, women were a little more likely to own their own home (61.6% compared with 58.7% of men). While rates of men and women with a mortgage were similar (33.8% and 33.5% respectively), women were slightly more likely to own their home without a mortgage (28.1% compared with 25.0% of men). See Figure 4 below, and Table 1.33 via the Downloads tab for more detail.
Footnote(s): (a) Excludes dependent students aged 15-24 years