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Casualisation Index of indicators

Indicator description

Why is it indicative

What does the data show

Data

Related Indicators

Acknowledgment

Indicator description

Casualisation is a process by which employment shifts from a preponderance of full-time and permanent or contract positions to higher levels of casual positions.

Why is it indicative

Measuring casualisation is important because it can negatively affect job security and has certain flow-on effects that influence other aspects of social life, such as the capacity to purchase property, engage in further education, support superannuation, or afford private health insurance. Casualisation may be linked to under-employment.

What does the data show

Casualisation is increasingly significant in labour force trends, as exemplified by recent analyses by the ABS (1999). According to its statistics, between August 1988 and August 1998, 69% of growth in the number of employees Australia-wide was in casual employment. Indeed, between these dates, casual employees increased as a proportion of all employees by 8%, from 19% to 27%. Among males, the increase was 115% (from 415,700 casual positions to 894,100 positions), compared to an overall decrease in non-casual work for males, from 3,127,800 to 3,064,100, or 2%. The ABS (1999b) suggests that these figures indicate a "major shift in the structure of the male workforce".

According to the Tasmanian year book (2000) in May 1998, there were 9,934 short-term recipients and 16,195 long-term recipients of Newstart allowance in Tasmania, a total of 26,129. Furthermore, females continued to represent the greater proportion (54%) of casuals, and their participation in the casual labour force increased by 43% over the ten-year period. Among both males and females, those aged 15-24 comprised the highest proportion of casuals (and the vast majority-some 93%-of these were also full-time students). However, the proportion of male casuals aged 55+ also increased from 12.8% in 1988 to 25.8% in 1998, while the proportion of females aged 55+ in casual employment remained steady at 31.3%. Again, this suggests significant structural changes to employment. In 1998, 33% of casuals Australia-wide would have liked more hours of employment.

Data

Various measures exist to track casualisation, including average hours worked, overtime worked, and the percentage of the labour force considered underemployed.

Average hours worked and overtime have declined over the 1990s, as shown in the following tables.

Average hours worked, Tasmania

 

1990 (a)
hours/week

1996 (a)
hours/week

1998 (a)
hours/week

Males

Full-time

40.9

42.2

42.0

Part-time

14.8

15.1

15.9

Total

38.9

38.9

38.3

Females

Full-time

36.9

37.8

38.4

Part-time

14.6

15.3

15.9

Total

27.0

26.7

26.9

Persons

Full-time

39.8

40.9

40.9

Part-time

14.7

15.2

15.9

Total

34.1

33.7

33.4

Average of the February, May, August and November figures.

Source: ABS 2001a, 111


Overtime, Tasmania

 

Average hours per employee

Average weekly overtime per employee working overtime

Percentage of employees working overtime

1990

1.3

7.0

18.7

1991

1.1

7.0

15.4

1992

1.0

6.7

15.2

1993

1.0

7.0

14.3

1994

1.0

6.7

15.1

1995

0.9

6.2

14.8

1996

0.8

5.9

14.3

1997

0.7

6.3

11.8

1998

0.7

6.7

10.5

Source: ABS Cat. No. 6354.0 in Tasmanian Year Book (2000, 111)


According to the ABS, there were 16,200 persons in part time work in Tasmania in September 1997 who wanted more hours of work, of which 10,100 were women. In total, 284,600 hours extra per week were sought, and that was equivalent to 8,130 full-time jobs (at 35 hours/week).

Related Indicators

Households in Poverty

Unemployment Rates

Acknowledgment

Sustainable Measures; Employment Indicators. See also ABS.

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Last Modified: 14 Dec 2006
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