6310.0 - Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia, August 2013 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2014  Final
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4 June 2014
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
Real median weekly earnings declines for first time in five years

The median weekly earnings for employees in their main job was $950, at August 2013, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This represents a 2 per cent decrease in real median earnings (CPI adjusted) over the year. This was the first year to year decrease since 2008. Real median earnings increased 3 per cent from August 2011 to August 2012.

ABS Director of Labour Force and Supplementary Surveys, Manpreet Singh, said "The Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership (EEBTUM) survey collected the distribution of weekly earnings of employees, their entitlement to paid leave and trade union membership.

"The survey shows that median weekly earnings of $950 in main job were lower than mean weekly earnings of $1,141. The 10 per cent of the population with the lowest weekly earnings in their main job accounted for just over 1 per cent of total employee earnings in the main job, whereas the 10 per cent with the highest earnings accounted for 28 per cent.

"In August 2013, 24 per cent of employees, excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises, did not have paid leave entitlements in their main job, a stable proportion for nine years," said Mr Singh.

"The survey also shows that 17 per cent, or 1.7 million employees were trade union members in the main job, this being the lowest proportion in the history of the series. That proportion follows a general decline in trade union membership over several years.

"Of employees without paid leave entitlements in their main job, 6 per cent were trade union members, compared to 22 per cent for employees with paid leave entitlements. Trade union membership was higher in the public sector, with 42 per cent of all employees being members, compared with 12 per cent in the private sector," said Mr Singh.

Further details can be found in Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia, August 2013 (cat. no. 6310.0) available for free download from www.abs.gov.au.

Media note:
  • Estimates of weekly earnings exclude owner managers of incorporated enterprises who did not draw a wage or salary.
  • Real earnings are derived by adjusting dollar values by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the September reference period of a given year.
  • Estimates of those with and without paid leave entitlements exclude owner managers of incorporated enterprises.
  • Estimates of trade union membership refer to membership in relation to main job.
  • Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • Media requests and interviews - contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070.