Characteristics of Employment, Australia

Latest release

Weekly earnings of employees, casual workers, independent contractors, trade union membership, labour hire, job flexibility, job security

Reference period
August 2021

Key statistics

  • Median employee earnings increased $50 (4.3%) between August 2020 and August 2021, to $1,200 per week.
  • 2.4 million casual employees (23% of employees, 19% of all employed), down from 2.6 million in May 2021.
  • 41% of employed people regularly worked from home, up from 32% in August 2019.
  • 1.0 million independent contractors (7.8% of all employed).

From August 2020, statistics from the Characteristics of Employment survey are now published in three topic-based releases. See:

Characteristics of Employment data for 2014 to 2021 will be available in TableBuilder from 14 December 2021. TableBuilder enables the creation of customised tables and graphs.

Spreadsheets containing data prior to 2021 can be found in the 2020 release. In 2022, the ABS will update the spreadsheets to include the timeseries format used in monthly Labour Force statistics and recently implemented for the February 2021 release of Participation, Job Search and Mobility. When this occurs, each spreadsheet will contain timeseries data for the 2014 to 2021 period, to facilitate automatic downloads and “data scraping,” with each timeseries provided a unique series identifier.

Data downloads

These Characteristics of Employment spreadsheets are also available in the Data downloads section of the relevant Employee earnings and Working arrangements releases.

Table 1a - Median earnings for employees by sex, state and full-time or part-time, 2004–2021

Table 1b - Median earnings for employees by sex, state and status of employment, 2004–2021

Table 1c - Median earnings for employees by state, full-time or part-time and status of employment, 2004–2021

Table 2 - Median earnings for employees by demographic characteristics and full-time or part-time, 2021

Table 3 - Distribution of earnings for employees by industry, 2021

Table 4 - Distribution of earnings for employees by occupation and skill level, 2021

Table 5 - Distribution of earnings for employees by educational qualification, 2021

Table 6 - Median earnings for employees by industry, occupation and educational qualification, 2021

Table 7 - Median earnings for employees and OMIEs by working arrangements, 2021

Table 8 - Median earnings for employees and OMIEs by demographic characteristics, 2021

Table 9 - Form of employment by demographic characteristics, 2021

Table 10 - Form of employment by industry, occupation and educational qualification, 2021

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6333.0*.

Prior to 2014, statistics related to employee earnings, trade union membership and working arrangements were published in:

 

*Note: Catalogue number 6333.0 was previously used for Working Conditions, Australia (Preliminary), Feb to May 1979. 

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