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One in five Australian workers are casual employees

02 May, 2012

One in five, or 19 per cent of Australian workers were casual employees in November 2011, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has announced.

This represents just under 2.2 million people.

The majority (62 per cent) of employed people were employees with paid leave entitlements, while a further nine per cent were independent contractors and a similar proportion were other business operators.

However, the situation was not quite as rosy for those employed in the hospitality sector.

Over half (64 per cent) of all employees in the accommodation and food services industry did not have paid leave entitlements.

Other industries where there were a high proportion of employees without paid leave entitlements included agriculture, forestry and fishing (48 per cent), retail trade (40 per cent), and arts and recreation services (39 per cent).

The occupation with the highest proportion of employees without paid leave entitlements was sales workers (48 per cent), followed by labourers (46 per cent).

Occupations with a low proportion of employees without paid leave entitlements were managers (six per cent) and professionals (ten per cent).

The ABS also found that there were 605,400 persons (five per cent of all employed persons) who found their job through a labour hire firm/employment agency in November 2011, of whom 56 per cent were males.

Of these, 141,700 persons (23 per cent of those who found their job through a labour hire firm/employment agency) were paid by a labour hire firm/employment agency.

Administrative and support services (20 per cent) and manufacturing (13 per cent) were the industries with the greatest proportion of those who were paid by a labour hire firm/employment agency, while clerical and administrative workers (21 per cent) and machinery operators and drivers (19 per cent) were the most common occupation groups.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics