4125.0 - Gender Indicators, Australia, Nov 2019  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/11/2019   
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ECONOMIC SECURITY

KEY FINDINGS

The key findings for Economic Security are:

    1. For parents with a dependant child aged 0-5 years, only 64% of women participated in the labour force, compared with 95% of men.
    2. The median superannuation balance remains lower for women than men. In 2017–18, the median superannuation balance at, or approaching, preservation age (55-64 years) was $119,000 for women and $183,000 for men.
    3. Lone parents with children are more likely than other parents to live in low economic resource households. In 2017-18. around half of lone mothers with children (46%) and more than a quarter of lone fathers with children (27%) were living in low economic resource households.
    4. Young women were more likely to be buying their home than young men: 24% of women compared with 18% of men aged 15 to 34 years owned their home with a mortgage in 2017-18.


DATA

The detailed data supporting the following insights are available from the Downloads tab of this publication:
    • Data Cube 1: Economic Security - Working population
    • Data Cube 2: Economic Security - Earnings, income & economic situation and Housing.


INSIGHTS

Working population

Employment and Labour force participation


This section presents data that is available on request from Labour Force Survey, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).

In 2018–19, two-thirds of women (67.4%) and more than three quarters of men (78.5%) aged 20–74 years old participated in the labour force.

In comparison, for parents aged 20–74 years, whose youngest child was under six years old, the difference between female and male labour force participation rate widened considerably: 64.2% of women and 94.6% of men (see Data Cube 1, Table 1.1). For those parents whose youngest child is 6-14 years old, female participation rate greatly increases (to 80.6%) while male participation rate remains relatively stable (93.3%), likely reflecting women re-entering the work force once their children reach primary school age.

While young women aged 15–19 years old were more likely to participate in the labour force than young men (56.7% women compared to 53.2% men), men were otherwise more likely to be in the labour force. The labour force participation rate for females was 60.6% compared with 71.1% for males, for those aged 15 and over, in 2018–19. The three age groups with the largest difference in labour force participation rates between women and men, in 2018–19, were:
    • 30–34 years olds: 76.1% for women compared to 92.7% for men
    • 35-39 years olds: 77.6% for women compared to 92.3% for men
    • 60-64 years olds: 51.8% for women compared to 65.4% for men.

Occupation and Industry

The gender composition of the workforce aged 20–74 years old also differs across occupations and industries. In 2018–19, the occupations with the highest proportion of females were clerical and administrative workers (73.8%) and community and personal service workers (70.4%). Those industries with the highest proportion of males were machine operators and drivers (90.5%) and technicians and trades workers (85.1%). These have remained largely unchanged over the last decade. Managers are still almost twice as likely to be men (62.7%) than women (37.3%) (see Data Cube 1, Table 1.6).

In 2018–19, the industries with the highest proportion of women were health care and social assistance (78.2%) and education and training (71.9%), while men dominated the construction (87.9%) and mining (84.1%) industries. The industries with the highest proportions of women and men have remained consistent over the past decade (see Data Cube 1, Table 1.3).


Proportion of females and males, 20–74 years old, employed by Industry, 2018–19(a)(b)(c)
Graph showing proportion of females and males aged 20-74 years old, employed by Industry, 2018-19
Footnote(s): (a) Data were calculated as an average of four quarters (August, November, February, May) in the financial year.
(b) Industry is classified according to the ABS Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0).
(c) Until recently, ABS policy has been to revise benchmarks for labour force data on a five-yearly basis following final rebasing of population estimates to the latest Census of Population and Housing data. However, labour force population benchmarks are now updated more frequently when preliminary population estimates become available, and again when these preliminary estimates are subsequently revised. For this release of Gender Indicators, Australia, labour force estimates dating back to (and including) 2014-15 have been revised in accordance with this new benchmarking process. Future revisions to benchmarks will then take place every time a new year of labour force data becomes available for publishing in the Gender Indicators publication. Re-benchmarking historical data has not resulted in any material change to unemployment rates, participation rates or employment to population ratios. For more information see ABS Labour Force, Australia, Jun 2016 (cat. no. 6202.0).
Source(s): Data available on request, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Labour Force Survey, Australia, cat. no. 6202.0


Employment conditions

This section presents data that is available on request from Labour Force Survey, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).

Women are more likely than men to be working part-time, in 2018–19, with 43.4% of employed women and 16.0% of employed men aged 20–74 years old working part-time.

The differences in part-time working arrangements were even more pronounced for parents with dependant children:
    • For parents whose youngest child was under six, three in five employed mothers (59.3%) worked part-time compared to less than one in ten employed fathers (7.6%)
    • For parents with older children (youngest dependant child between 6-14 years old), half of all employed mothers (49.8%) worked part-time, compared to less than one in ten employed fathers (8.3%) (see Data Cube 1, Table 1.9).

The average number of hours worked by both women and men working part-time was the same (18.2 and 18.0 hours per week). However for those working full-time, women worked fewer hours on average than men; 36.9 hours per week for women compared to 40.8 hours per week for men (see Data Cube 1, Table 1.10).

Women are also more likely to work in casual jobs than men. In 2018, 27.0% of female employees aged 15 years and over did not have paid leave entitlements, compared with 23.0% of male employees. Younger people were most likely to work in jobs without leave entitlements, with around one third of both women and men aged 15-34 in this type of employment (36.9% of women and 31.8% of men) (see Data Cube 1, Table 1.12).

Underutilised labour

This section presents data that is available on request from Labour Force Survey, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).

In 2018–19, the average unemployment rate was similar for women and men aged 20–74 years old (4.5% and 4.3% respectively). While the unemployment rate for young women aged 15–19 years old was lower than young men (15.0% compared to 18.3%), men aged 30–44 years old had lower unemployment rates than women of the same age. For parents with a child under six the unemployment rate for mothers aged 20–74 years old is about double the unemployment rate of fathers: 4.8% of mothers compared to 2.2% of fathers (see Data Cube 1, Table 1.14).

In 2018–19, women were more likely to be underemployed than men (9.4% and 5.6% respectively): that is people in the labour force who wanted, and were available for, more hours of work than they currently had (see Data Cube 1, Table 1.15).

Adding people who are either unemployed or underemployed together creates an underutilised labour force population, from which an underutilisation rate can be derived. The labour force underutilisation rate in Australia in 2018–19 for those aged 20–74 years old was higher for women (13.9%) than it was for men (10.0%). (see Data Cube 1, Table 1.16).

People not in the labour force

This section presents data that is available on request from Labour Force Survey, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).

In 2018–19, a third of women (32.6%) and just over one in five men (21.5%) aged 20–74 years old were not in the labour force. The largest difference was for people aged 30–34 years old, where women (23.9%) were around three times more likely than men (7.3%) to be out of the labour force (see Data Cube 1, Table 1.17). This may reflect the age group of women more likely to be having children, and taking a major role in their care, since the median age of mothers at birth in 2017 was 31.3 years, as detailed in Births, Australia, 2017 (cat. no. 3301.0).


Persons not in the labour force, by age and sex, 2018–19(a)
Graph showing proportion of persons not in the labour force, by age and sex, 2018-19
Footnote(s): (a) Data averages using 12 months in the financial year
Source(s): Data available on request, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Labour Force Survey, Australia, cat. no. 6202.0


Earnings, Income and Economic situation

Earnings


This section presents data that is available on request from Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0) and Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

The gender pay gap (GPG) measures the relative position of women and men in the economy. The measures given below present the percentage of a women's wage/earnings over that of a man's wage/earnings using three different methods. All methods show a gender pay gap that favours working men over working women.
    • In 2018 the average adult hourly female wage was 87% of the average adult hourly male wage for non-managerial employees (see Data Cube 2, Table 2.1)
    • In 2018 the average adult weekly female earnings were 69% of average adult weekly male earnings and this has also been fairly stable over the last decade. While this measure only includes full-time employees it also includes both ordinary time earnings and overtime earnings (see Data Cube 2, Table 2.3)
    • Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) data for 2017-18 presents a full-time total remuneration gender pay gap of 21.3%. This means men working full-time earn $25,717 on average per year more than women working full-time. For these data and further discussion, see the WGEA website.

For further discussion on the gender pay gap see the following articles:
Retirement income and Superannuation

This section presents data that is available on request from Household Income and Wealth, Australia (cat. no. 6523.0).

In 2017–18, a superannuation pension or annuity was the main source of income for around one in six women (15.5%) and about one in four men (24.4%) aged 65 years and over, who were not in the labour force. While these proportions have increased for both women and men over the past ten years (these proportions were 9.2% and 19.3% respectively in 2007–08), the difference between women and men has persisted. Government pensions and allowances, on the other hand, were the main source of income for the majority of people aged 65 years and over who were not in the labour force, with more women (69.4%) reliant on this income source than men (63.0%), in 2017-18). (see Date Cube 2, Table 2.6).

The median superannuation balance at, or approaching, preservation age (55–64 years) for women has increased by around 60% between 2009–10 and 2017–18. In the same period, the median superannuation balance for men has increased by around a third. However, the median superannuation balance remains substantially lower for women than men. In 2017–18, the median superannuation balance was $118,556 for women and $183,000 for men aged 55-64 years (see Data Cube 2, Table 2.7).

Just under a quarter (23.5%) of women aged 15–64 years old had no superannuation coverage at all in 2017–18, compared to one in five men (20.5%) of the same age. The gap between women and men with no coverage has narrowed in the last decade (from a 5.4 percentage point gap in 2009–10 to a 3.0 percentage point gap in 2017-18). (see Data Cube 2, Table 2.8).

The two age groups with the largest percentage of people with no superannuation were the youngest and oldest groups:
    • 15-24 year old women (49.4%) and men (50.3%), which has remained relatively consistent over the last decade
    • 55-64 year old women (22.4%) and men (16.3%), though this has reduced over the last decade (33.2% women and 23.0% of men in 2009-10).
      See Data Cube 2, Table 2.8 for these data.

Low economic resource households

This section presents data that is available on request from Household Income and Wealth, Australia (cat. no. 6523.0).

Low economic resource households are those in the bottom two quintiles for both income and wealth (this includes imputed rent, which represents the economic benefit to those people who own their own home or who are paying subsidised rent). For most Australians, income is the most important resource they have to meet their living costs. However, reserves of wealth (such as equity in a house) can be drawn upon to maintain living standards in periods of reduced income or substantial unexpected expenses. Considering income and wealth together helps to better understand the economic well-being or vulnerability of households.

In 2017–18, about one in five women and men (21.1% and 20.3% respectively) aged 15 years and over were living in low economic resource households. The rates were much higher for lone parents with children (including both dependant and non-dependant children). In 2017-18 around half of lone mothers (46.4%) and more than a quarter of lone fathers (26.7%) were living in low economic resource households (see Data Cube 2, Table 2.9).


Housing

This section presents data from the Survey of Income and Housing that is available on request from Household Income and Wealth, Australia (cat. no. 6523.0).

In 2017–18, women were more likely than men to live in a home they owned or were buying (58.6% females compared with 55.5% males). Young women were more likely to be buying their home than young men: 24.3% of women compared with 18.3% of men aged 15 to 34 years owned their home with a mortgage in 2017–18. Home ownership rates for women and men have dropped slightly over the last decade: a drop of 3.6 and 3.3 percentage points respectively from 2007–08. (see Data Cube 2, Table 2.15 and Table 2.16).