Australian women’s employment: an overview

The following tables give a good overview of current gender inequality in the Australian labour market. These tables are embedded in the paper I gave at the ILO conference on the future of work last year. They show the high concentrations of women in just 6 of the 17 industry sectors, the high levels of the gender pay gap as well as the high levels of casualisation (informalisation) and underemployment for women. Why is that 21% of women work in health care and social assistance (mostly as nurses, aged care workers, social workers etc) compared to 5% of male workers and there is a 31% gender pay gap? Why is that there is an extraordinary 25% pay gap between men and women in professional, scientific and professional services? Go figure! 

Core industry sectors of female employment 6/17 Female employment % Male employment % Gender pay gap*
Health Care and Social Assistance 21% 5% 30.7%
Retail Trade 12% 9% 10%
Education and Training 11.6% 4.4% 12%
Accommodation and Food Services 8.6% 6% 8%
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 8% 9% 25.3%
Public Administration and Safety 6.5% 6% 7.3%
Total 67.5% 39.4% 18.2%

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2015) Underemployed, Industry and Occupation, Original – February 2015, 6291.0.55.003 Labour Force,

Workplace Gender Equality Agency – https://www.wgea.gov.au/media-releases/national-gender-pay-gap-rises-182

*Average full time weekly ordinary time earnings

 

Core industry sectors of female employment Informalisation – employees %without paid leave entitlem’ts Female under- employment% Male under-Employment%
Accommodation and Food Services 65.4% 23.6% 19.5%
Retail Trade 39.3% 18.8% 13.8%
HealthCare and Social Assistance 19.9% 10% 8.6%
Education and Training 17.7% 10% 8.7%
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 13.7% 5.6% 5.7%
Public Administration and Safety 9.7% 4.3% 3.7%
Average 24% 11.3% (av) 6.9% (av)

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2015) Underemployed, Industry and Occupation, Original – 6291.0.55.003 Labour Force, Australia, February 2015

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013) Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia, 6310.0 – August 2013

 

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