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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Mean weekly earnings in all jobs
The mean weekly earnings in all jobs of those who were an employee in their main job was $1,125 in August 2012. Mean weekly earnings in all jobs for males was $1,338 compared to $886 for females. Mean weekly earnings for full-time workers was $1,379 compared to $505 for part-time workers (Table 1).
Mean weekly earnings in all jobs for those who were an employee in their main job increased $55 (5%) between 2011 and 2012. It increased by 59% during the ten years to August 2012, from $707 in August 2002 to $1,125 in August 2012. Changes in mean weekly earnings are affected not only by changes in the rate of pay, but also by any changes in the composition of the Australian workforce, including:
Real mean weekly earnings in all jobs
Real mean weekly employee earnings in all jobs (adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index) (see table below), increased by 21% over the ten years to August 2012. It had increased by $34 (3%) since August 2011.
There were two years over the last ten where the mean weekly employee earnings did not increase in real terms. Between August 2007 and August 2008 mean weekly earnings declined by 1% ($16), and between August 2010 and August 2011 there was no change.
Mean weekly earnings in main job
The mean weekly earnings for employees in their main job in August 2012 was $1,330 for males and $874 for females. Those aged 45-54 years had the highest mean weekly earnings ($1,587 for males, compared to $1,002 for females) (Table 4).
The mean weekly earnings in main job was higher for males than for females in every age group. In the 60-64 year age group the mean weekly earnings for females was 59% of that for males. In the 20-24 year age group - female average weekly earnings were 80% of male earnings. The differences were partly driven by higher rates of part-time employment by women. When comparing full-time earnings of male and female employees in their main job, female earnings increase to 74% of male earnings for 60-64 years, and to 90% for 20-24 year old females. The difference is smallest when comparing female part-time employee earnings with male part-time employee earnings (Table 4).
Median weekly earnings in main job
In August 2012, the median weekly earnings in main job for all employees was $950, compared to a mean of $1,115 (Table 6). The difference between the mean and median shows that the high earnings of some employees increases the mean weekly earnings relative to median earnings. Ten per cent of employees in their main job earned at least twice the mean - $2,000 or more per week in their main job (Table 7).
Median weekly earnings was the highest for employees who worked in the mining industry ($1,950) while the lowest median weekly earnings was for employees who worked in the Accommodation and food services industry ($450) (Table 9). Mining has the highest proportion of full-time employees (96%) while Accommodation and food services had the lowest proportion (38%) (Table 5). By occupation, the highest median earnings was for Managers ($1,350) while the lowest was for Sales workers ($500) (Table 8). Managers was one of the occupations with the highest proportion of full-time employees (88%) while Sales workers had the lowest (41%) (Table 5).
Weekly earnings in main job
As would be expected, the distribution of weekly earnings of part-time employees was concentrated in lower earning groups with 56% earning under $500 per week. For full-time employees, 63% earned $1,000 or more per week (Table 10).
TRADE UNION MEMBERSHIP
The proportion of employees who were trade union members in their main job has been steady for the last three years at 18% (Table 11).
In August 2012:
Employees in the Education and training industry had the highest proportion of trade union membership in their main job (38%), followed by Public administration and safety (34%). The industries with the lowest proportion of trade union membership in their main job were Rental, hiring and real estate services, and Professional, scientific and technical services (both 3%) (Table 13).
Of those employees who were currently a trade union member but not necessarily in connection to their main job, 65% had been a trade union member for five years or more. Only 10% had been a trade union member for less than one year (Table 16).
There were 1.3 million employees who were not currently members of a trade union but had been one in the past. Just over three-quarters (77%) of these employees had not been a trade union member for at least five years, while 5% had last been a member less than one year ago. Most employees (6.8 million or 68%) had never been a trade union member (Table 16).
SUPERANNUATION CONTRIBUTIONS PAID BY EMPLOYER
In August 2012, 90% of all employees reported that they had superannuation contributions paid into a superannuation scheme on their behalf by their employer in their main job. A higher proportion of full-time employees reported contributions paid into a superannuation scheme on their behalf than part-time employees (94% and 80% respectively). A higher proportion of female part-time employees reported superannuation contributions made by their employer than male part-time employees (84% compared to 70%) (Table 10).
Over 95% of employees earning $500 or more per week reported to have had superannuation contributions paid into a superannuation scheme by their employer. Within this group, 97% of those earning between $1,200 and under $1,800 per week had superannuation contributions made by their employer. In contrast, employees earning less than $400 per week were less likely to report to have superannuation contributions paid into a superannuation scheme by their employer. For example, 53% of those earning under $200 per week and 76% of those earning between $200 to less than $300 per week reported that their employer paid superannuation contributions paid into a superannuation scheme (Table 10).
Under the Superannuation Guarantee Act, 1992, employers are obliged to make superannuation contributions on behalf of their employees. Exemptions include where the employee is aged less than 18 years and not working 30 hours or more; are aged 70 years or over; or employees who earn less than $450 (before tax) in a calendar month.
EMPLOYEES (EXCLUDING OMIES)
With paid leave entitlements
In August 2012, there were 9.4 million employees excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises (OMIEs) (4.8 million males and 4.5 million females). Of these, 7.1 million (76%) had paid leave entitlements in their main job (that is they were entitled to paid holiday leave and/or paid sick leave) (Table 21).
A higher proportion of male employees had paid leave entitlements (79%) than female employees (73%), however a higher proportion of male employees worked full-time. Nearly nine out of ten full-time employees had paid leave entitlements (90%) compared to 46% of part-time employees. When looking at full-time/part-time status, female full-time employees were more likely to have paid leave entitlements than male full-time employees (92% compared to 88% for males), as were female part-time employees (52% compared to 30% for male part-time employees) (Table 21).
The occupation groups with the highest proportion of employees excluding OMIEs with paid leave entitlements were Managers (93%), followed by Professionals (89%). The occupation groups with the lowest proportion with paid leave entitlements were Sales workers and Labourers (both 53%) (Table 22).
Mean weekly earnings in main job
Mean weekly earnings in main job for employees excluding OMIEs was $1,090 ($1,299 for males and $867 for females). Employees with paid leave entitlements had higher mean weekly earnings in their main job ($1,243) then those without paid leave entitlements ($597) (Table 19).
Trade union membership in main job
Of employees excluding OMIEs, 1.8 million were trade union members in their main job (Table 24). Of these:
Without paid leave entitlements
In August 2012, 2.2 million (24%) employees excluding OMIEs did not have paid leave entitlements (a proxy measure for casual employment) in their main job, that is, they were not entitled to either paid sick leave or paid holiday leave in their main job (or did not know if they were entitled) (Table 21). Of these:
Types of paid leave entitlements
There are a number of different types of paid leave that employees may be entitled to. In addition to paid holiday leave and sick leave, employees may also be entitled to paid long service leave and paid maternity/paternity leave.
In August 2012, 78% of employees excluding OMIEs reported they had one or more paid leave entitlements, while 22% had no paid leave entitlements at all. Only 45% reported that they had all paid leave entitlements: holiday leave, sick leave, long service leave and maternity/paternity leave. The most common paid leave entitlements reported by employees were paid sick leave (76%) and/or paid holiday leave (75%) (Table 20).
The survey found:
Overall, the industries with the highest proportion of employees excluding OMIEs who reported all of the paid leave entitlements were Public administration and safety (75%) and Financial and insurance services (70%). In contrast, only 14% of employees in the Accommodation and food services industry reported all paid leave entitlements, and 62% had no paid leave entitlements (Table 20).
The occupation with the highest proportion of employees excluding OMIEs who reported all paid leave entitlements in August 2012 was Professionals (62%). In contrast, only 23% of Labourers and 27% of Sales workers reported they had all paid leave entitlements, while 44% of Labourers and 44% of Sales workers had no paid leave entitlements at all. (Table 20).
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