6359.0 - Forms of Employment, Australia, Aug 1998  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/02/2000   
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February 15, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

ABS survey offers new insight into Australian jobs

According to a report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today most people who were employed in August 1998 expected their job to last more than one year. Of the 8,395,800 people employed, 2% were working on a fixed-term contract ending within 12 months, and a further 10% did not expect to be with their employer or business in 12 months.

The survey also found that most employed people (58%) had worked for their current employer or business for 3 years or more, while 21% had been in their job for less than a year. On average, people in different forms of employment had spent different lengths of time in their jobs. Most (56%) of those managing their own business had worked in that business for 6 years or more. This compares to only 10% of those who considered their job to be casual.

In August 1998 there were 1,486,900 people who considered their job to be casual. The majority (61%) of these casuals were female. Almost three quarters (72%) of casuals worked part-time compared to about a quarter (26%) of all employed people. Some 29% of casuals worked in the retail trade industry and a further 13% in the accommodation, cafes and restaurants industry.

Other findings from the survey include:
  • 34% of all people employed at August 1998 were in jobs in which earnings varied from one month to the next. Over half (62%) of the casually employed people had variable earnings.
  • Over half (57%) of employed people were satisfied with the number of hours they worked (58% of full-time workers, 53% of part-time workers). Twenty-two per cent wanted to work fewer hours (27% of full-timers, 6% of part-timers) and 17% wanted to work more hours (10% of full-timers, 36% of part-timers).
  • There were 84,300 people who were paid by an employment agency.
  • There were 1,669,700 people working in their own business in August 1998. Of these, 610,900 (37%) undertook contract work. Approximately half of this number (294,900) had only one contract for work in the week prior to the survey.
Further details can be found in Forms of Employment, Australia, August 1998 (cat. no. 6359.0) available from ABS Bookshops.

If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication telephone 02 6252 5249.