Last week the Australian Bureau of Statistics released Characteristics of Employment (6333.0, August 2016) which is always an interesting peek under the hood of the Australian labour market.
Here are some selected pieces of data from the survey (all data is at August 2016):
- There were just over1 million persons who were independent contractors
- 72% male, 28% female
- 30% of all contractors were employed in the Construction industry and 16% in the Professional, scientific and technical services industry division
- Female contractors were most prevalent in the Professional, scientific and technical services industry division (21% of all female contractors worked in this sector) closely followed by Health care and social assistance (20%)
- Male contractors were most prevalent in the Construction sector (40% of all male contractors worked in this sector)
- The occupation groups with the highest number of independent contractors were Technicians and trades workers (27%) and Professionals (24%)
- 93% of contractors expected to be with current employer/business in 12 months,
- 40% had been with their current employer/business for 10 years or more
- 31% of independent contractors reported their highest level of educational attainment was a Certificate III/IV. The most common educational attainment for males was a Certificate III/IV (38%), whilst for females the most common level of educational attainment was a Bachelors degree (26%)
- 55% had more than one active contract in the reference week
Recruitment agencies and labour hire firms (‘agency’)
- There were approximately 133,700 persons who were paid by an agency (124,400 in the 2014 survey, a 7.5% increase)
- Approximately 600,800 persons who had found their job through an agency (599,800 in the 2014 survey)
- The industry division with the most males who found their job through an agency was Manufacturing (21%) followed by Construction (10%)
- The most common occupation groups for males found via an agency were Machinery operators and drivers (21%), Technicians and Trades workers (19%) and Labourers (18%)
- The most common industry divisions for females who found their job via an agency were Health care and social assistance (16%) followed by Public administration and safety (11%)
- The most common occupation groups for females who found their job via an agency were Clerical and administrative workers (38%) and Professionals (22%).
Qualifications and earnings
- There were 8 million (67%) employed persons who had a non-school qualification. 3.8 million (32%) employed persons had a Bachelor degree or above, while 2.4 million (20%) employed persons had a Certificate III/IV
- Median weekly earnings in main job was highest for those who had a Postgraduate degree ($1,500) while the lowest median weekly earning was for those with a Certificate I/II ($747). This compares to a median of $800 for those without a non-school qualification
- Median weekly earnings in main job for male full-time workers was $1,334 compared to $1,150 for females (a 16% difference)
- The main job mean weekly earnings was higher for males than for females in every age group. For those aged 65 years and over, mean weekly earnings for females was 62% of that for males. In the 20–24 year age group, average weekly earnings for females were 89% of male earnings
- The industry division with the highest mean weekly earnings in main job was Mining ($2,261) followed by Electricity, gas, water and waste services ($1,660). The industry division with the lowest mean weekly earnings was Accommodation and food services ($629)
The official data reveals that contrary to popular opinion outside the recruitment industry, the use of recruitment agencies to secure work is remaining steady and the number of people paid by recruitment agencies as temps or contractors is on the increase.
Nice one, Australian recruiters.
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