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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/01/2006   
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Contents >> Chapter 13 - Industry structure and performance >> An industry view of employment


Another measure of the significance of an industry is its contribution to employment. Employment (and unemployment) data are used as social indicators by government, research and welfare organisations. Employment is also an indicator of economic activity, although turning points in the employment series tend to lag turning points in the business cycle.

Graph 13.4 shows industry shares of total employment in 2003-04. These data were derived from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Labour Force Survey and relate to the civilian population aged 15 years and over. People are considered to be employed if they were in paid work for one hour or more in the reference week, or worked for one hour or more without pay in a family business or farm. Employment is further described in the Labour chapter.

In 2003-04, 9.5 million people were employed across all industries. The retail trade industry employed the greatest number of people of all industries (1.4 million employed persons or 15% of total employment). Property and business services employed 1.1 million people (12% of total employment) followed by manufacturing (11%), health and community services (10%), construction (8%) and education (7%) industries.

These industries were also the main employing industries in 1993-94 although property and business services has displaced manufacturing as the second largest employer. Between 1993-94 and 2003-04 the property and business services industry share of total employment increased by 3.5 percentage points. Conversely, manufacturing industry's share of total employment declined by 2.8 percentage points over this period.

Graph 13.4: SHARE OF TOTAL EMPLOYMENT(a) - 2003-04

The industry composition of average weekly paid hours for wage and salary earners provides an insight into the labour market. Data on this topic are derived from the biennial ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours. This survey covers all employing organisations in Australia (public and private sectors) except enterprises primarily engaged in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry, private households employing staff, and foreign embassies and consulates.

Graph 13.5 shows average weekly total paid hours for full-time adult non-managerial employees by industry in May 2004 compared with the average for all industries in the period (39.5 hours). Total paid hours are equal to ordinary time paid hours plus overtime paid hours. The highest average weekly paid hours for full-time adult non-managerial employees was in the mining industry (45.3 hours), followed by the construction (42.1 hours) and, transport and storage (41.7 hours) industries. The lowest average weekly paid hours was in the education industry (37.6 hours).

Paid overtime accounted for 4% of average weekly total paid hours for full-time adult non-managerial employees. The industry in which employees worked the most paid overtime was mining (7.7% of total paid hours for that industry). Paid overtime in the construction, manufacturing, and transport and storage industries accounted for 7.6%, 7.3% and 7.2% of total paid hours respectively.

Graph 13.5: AVERAGE WEEKLY TOTAL PAID HOURS FOR FULL-TIME ADULT NON-MANAGERIAL EMPLOYEES(a), Difference from all industries average(b) - May 2004

Compensation of employees is both an economic and social indicator. This item includes wages and salaries (paid in cash and in kind) and employer social contributions (e.g. employers' contributions to superannuation and worker's compensation premiums). Wages and salaries in kind can include meals, housing, uniforms, and vehicles.

Graph 13.6 shows industry shares of total compensation of employees in 2003-04. In this period, total compensation of employees was $379b. Total wages and salaries was $343b (90% of total compensation of employees).

The property and business services industry held the largest share of total compensation of employees (15%), followed by the manufacturing (12%), health and community services (10%), education (8.3%) and retail trade (7.9%) industries. These industries were also in the top six industries (along with construction industry) that had the highest share of total employment in 2003-04.


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