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8175.0 - Counts of Australian Business Operators, 2006 to 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/10/2008  First Issue
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October 1, 2008
Embargoed: 11.30 am (AEST)

1.9 million people operating businesses in Australia: ABS

The number of people owning and operating one or more businesses in Australia has reached 1.9 million, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The survey found that the average business owner/operator was male (68%), between the ages of 25-54 (69%), and worked full time in their business (72%).

The most common industries for businesses were construction (20%), agriculture, forestry and fishing (11%) or professional, scientific and technical services (11%); business owners were working as managers and administrators (20%) or as tradespersons (19%).

Nearly all (96%) were expecting to still be operating their business in a years time.

In addition, the findings from the 2006 Census have shown that business operators are likely to:
    • Run a small business (96%),
    • Employ between 1-19 staff (55%),
    • Be educated to Year 12 or equivalent (49%),
    • Have training in engineering (24%), management and commerce (17%) or architecture and building (17%),
    • Earning $799 per week or less (52%); and
    • Be born in Australia (73%).

The Census also found that 87% of business operators were in a family, and just over a half (54%) had dependents. Additionally, 39% of business operators indicated they had spent time caring for a child or children without being paid.

Further details can be found in Counts of Australian Business Operators (cat. no. 8175.0) available for free download from the ABS website <>.

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