8556.0 - Market Research Services, Australia, 1998-99  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/06/2000   
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June 5, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Market research a profitable industry
    The market research services industry recorded a profit of $72 million during 1998-99, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today. The $72 million profit represented an operating profit margin of 15.9 per cent.

    The 272 businesses in the market research services industry recorded a total income of $456 million for the year, with just over two thirds (67 per cent) coming from quantitative research services. The main types of quantitative research work were telephone interviewing ($164 million) and personal interviewing ($119 million) activities. In comparison, $104 million (23 per cent) of industry income was generated by qualitative research.

    In terms of the different spheres of market research work, fast moving retail consumer goods ($98 million), other retail ($62 million) and finance and insurance services ($56 million), were the main sources of income. Market Research into health and pharmaceuticals, media and communication and information technology also generated significant industry income.

    Total expenses for the industry were $384 million. Labour costs were the highest single expense ($203 million), representing 53 percent of total expenses.

    At the end of June 1999, there were 10,744 people working in the market research services industry. Employment in the industry was mainly on a casual basis with 8,036 people (75 per cent of total employment) employed as casuals. Females accounted for 69 per cent of casual employees, and 67 per cent of employment overall.

    There were 1,580 consultants, researchers and data analysts working in the industry at the end of June 1999. The average salary of these people was $60,900, whereas the wages and salaries of other employees represented an average of $9,000, reflecting the high incidence of casual staff.

    There were 24 market research businesses which employed 100 people or more. These businesses, which represented only 9 per cent of all businesses, contributed 74 per cent of total industry employment and 59 per cent of total industry income. In contrast, there were 139 businesses (51 per cent of all businesses) which employed less than 5 people. These small businesses contributed 2 per cent of employment and 9 per cent of industry income.

    At the end of June, there were 160 market research businesses operating in New South Wales. These businesses dominated the industry contributing 50 per cent of total industry employment and 53 per cent of total industry income.

    Further details can be found in Market Research Services, Australia 1998-99 (cat. no. 8556.0) available from ABS bookshops. Thie summary of the publication are also available on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS bookshop in your capital city.