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6310.0 - Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia, Aug 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/03/2006   
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Addendum
Two additional worksheets (4. Occupation, 5. Sector) have been added to this excel file on 7 July 2006.


NOTES


ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION

This publication presents information about the weekly earnings and employment benefits received by employees, and their trade union membership.


The statistics in this publication were compiled from the Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership Survey conducted throughout Australia in August 2005 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS).


Data from the survey relate to employed persons aged 15 years and over who worked in their main job for a public or private sector employer (and either received remuneration in wages or salary, received a retainer fee from their employer while working on a commission basis, or were paid in tips or piece-rates) or operated their own incorporated enterprise with or without employees.


The survey provides statistics on the distribution of weekly earnings of employees, their entitlement to paid leave (holiday, sick, long service and maternity/paternity), superannuation coverage and trade union membership. This information can be cross-classified by a range of personal characteristics such as age, sex and family type, and by characteristics of employment such as full-time or part-time status, industry and occupation.



NOTES ABOUT THE ESTIMATES

In August 2005, there were 2433, cases where information relating to earnings was not provided by the respondent. Where this was the only information missing from the record, a value has been imputed based on other information provided such as age, sex, state or territory of usual residence, labour force characteristics, and known earnings of fully responding records with similar profiles (see paragraphs 27 and 28 of the Explanatory Notes). In 2003 and previous years, cases where information relating to earnings was not provided by the respondent were classified as 'could not be determined'.



ROUNDING

As estimates have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.



INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Labour Market Section on Canberra (02) 6252 7206.



SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

In August 2005, there were a total of 8,526,600 employees in Australia. Of these, 6,945,000 (81%) were employed in the private sector and 1,581,600 (19%) were employed in the public sector.



WEEKLY EARNINGS OF EMPLOYEES

In August 2005, the mean weekly earnings of employees in all jobs was $807, an increase of $41 (or 5%) since August 2004. Mean weekly earnings in all jobs was highest in the Australian Capital Territory ($912) and lowest in Tasmania ($697).


Mean weekly earnings of employees in all jobs has increased from $532 in August 1995, an increase of 52% over the decade. However, it should be noted that changes in average earnings may be affected not only by changes in the level of earnings but also by changes in the overall composition of the employee workforce, including changes in:

  • proportions of full-time and part-time employees
  • number of hours worked
  • mix of occupations and industries.

The weekly earnings of employees in their main job (rather than in all their jobs) is also of interest. The mean weekly earnings of employees in their main job was $798. Mean weekly earnings of employees in their main job were higher in the public sector than in the private sector ($919 compared with $770). For full-time employees, the mean weekly earnings in main job was $979, while for part-time employees it was $366 in their main job. Mean weekly earnings in main job were $1047 for full-time male employees and $854 for full-time female employees.


Another useful measure of earnings is to look at median weekly earnings. The median is the amount which divides the distribution of employees into two equal parts, one having earnings above and the other below that amount. The median weekly earnings of employees in their main job was $700. Median weekly earnings for employees in their main job was $800 for males and $576 for females.


In August 2005, median weekly earnings (in main job) were highest in the:

  • Mining industry ($1380)
  • Managers and administrators occupation group ($1200)
  • 45-54 year age group ($950)


LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS

In August 2005, 73% (or 6,244,400) of the 8,526,600 employees were entitled to either paid holiday leave or paid sick leave, or both, in their main job (referred to as Employees with leave entitlements). This represents an increase of one percentage point from August 2004.


Full-time employees were more likely than part-time employees to have leave entitlements (87% compared with 41%), and a higher proportion of male employees had leave entitlements than female employees (77% compared with 69%). The industry with the highest proportion of employees with leave entitlements was Government administration and defence (93%), while the occupation groups with the highest proportion of employees with leave entitlements were Managers and administrators and Professionals (both 85%).


In August 2005, employees with leave entitlements earned an average of $911 per week in their main job, compared with $471 per week for employees without leave entitlements. The difference in average weekly earnings is due to the underlying characteristics of employees with and without leave entitlements. For example:


Of the 6,244,400 (73%) employees with leave entitlements in August 2005:

  • 17% were part-time employees;
  • 44% were female;
  • 13% were employed in the Manufacturing industry;
  • 23% were Professionals;
  • 25% were aged 25-34; and
  • 23% earned between $600 and $800 per week in their main job.

Of the 2,282,200 (27%) employees without leave entitlements in August 2005:
  • 65% were part-time employees;
  • 54% were female;
  • 26% were employed in the Retail trade industry;
  • 23% were Elementary clerical, sales and service workers;
  • 20% were aged 15-19; and
  • 30% earned less than $200 per week in their main job.


LEAVE BENEFITS

In August 2005, 76% of employees were provided with one or more types of paid leave (i.e. holiday, sick, long service or maternity/paternity leave). This represents an increase of one percentage point from August 2004. Employees in the public sector were more likely to have one or more of these leave benefits than those in the private sector (92% compared with 72%), as were full-time employees than part-time employees (88% compared with 46%).


The most commonly reported paid leave benefits were sick leave and holiday leave (both 72%), followed by long service leave (65%) and maternity/paternity leave (36%). The proportion of employees who were provided with all four leave benefits was 33%.


Accommodation, cafes and restaurants was the industry with the highest proportion of employees who were not provided with any leave benefits (58%), while Elementary clerical, sales and service workers was the occupation group with the highest proportion of employees with no leave benefits (51%).



SUPERANNUATION COVERAGE

In August 2005, 90% of employees had superannuation provided by their current employer. A higher proportion of full-time employees were provided with superannuation by their current employer than part-time employees (96% and 78% respectively). Employees in the public sector were also more likely to be provided with superannuation by their current employer (98%) than employees in the private sector (89%). It should be noted that under the Superannuation Guarantee Act, employers are obliged to make superannuation contributions on behalf of most employees. There are some exempt employees: for example, employers are not obliged to contribute to superannuation for employees aged less than 18 years who are not working more than 30 hours a week, for employees aged 70 years and over, or for employees who are paid less than $450 in a calendar month.



TRADE UNION MEMBERSHIP

In August 2005, there were 1,911,900 employees who were trade union members in conjunction with their main job, a 4% increase on the 1,842,100 trade union members recorded in August 2004. While the number of employees who were trade union members increased, the proportion of employees who were trade union members remained relatively stable between August 2004 (22.7%) and August 2005 (22.4%). The proportion of trade union memberships has decreased from 33% in August 1995, a fall of one third over the past decade.


The proportion of full-time employees who were trade union members was higher than for part-time employees (25% and 17% respectively). A higher proportion of public sector employees were trade union members (47%) than private sector employees (17%).


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