6310.0 - Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia, Aug 2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/03/2001   
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March 30, 2001
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Employee Earnings on the Increase

The mean weekly earnings of employees, in all jobs, grew from $624 in August 1999 to $659 in August 2000, an increase of 5.6 percent, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Results from the survey, conducted throughout Australia in August 2000, show that male mean weekly earnings in all jobs had increased by $47 to $784, during the previous 12 months, while females recorded an increase of $25 to $516 per week. Mean weekly earnings for full-time employees increased from $755 in August 1999 to $800 in August 2000, and from $267 to $282 for part-time employees.

The survey also found that 91 percent of employees received one or more of the surveyed employee benefits in their main job. Those employed in the public sector were more likely to have received an employee benefit than their private sector counterparts (97.5 percent compared to 89.4 percent)

In August 2000, the most commonly reported employee benefit was superannuation (89 percent of employees). Superannuation coverage increased from 64 percent of employees in August 1990 to its current level. Other reported benefits were paid sick leave (71 percent of employees), paid holiday pay (71 percent) and long service leave (62 percent). The proportion of employees receiving paid holiday or sick leave declined from August 1990, when the incidence was 79 percent for both types of leave.

The number of trade union members continued to decrease. In August 2000 there were 1,901,800 trade union members, making up 25 percent of all employees, down from 26 percent in August 1999, and 28 percent in August 1998. Other findings on trade union membership include:
  • Almost 28 percent of full-time employees were trade union members, compared with 17 percent of part-time employees.
  • Nearly one in two (47.4 percent) Public sector employees were trade union members, compared with just one in five (19.1 percent) in the Private sector.
  • Across industries, trade union membership ranged from 5.4 percent in agriculture, forestry and fishing, to 53.1 percent in electricity, gas and water supply.

Further details can be found in the publication Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia, August 2000 (cat. no. 6310.0), available from ABS Bookshop. This release and a summary of the publication are available on this site. If you would like a copy of the publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.