It’s no surprise that Australia’s workforce is changing. We could potentially be witnessing the most significant shift since globalisation, with the rise of the multi-channel workforce beginning to reshape traditional employment models.
As with any environment or economy, things naturally evolve, and Australia’s workforce has been progressing for decades. Here are six facts about Australia’s changing workforce.
- Australia’s minimum wage was first ever introduced in 1907, set at 2 pounds and 2 shillings per week. Today, Australia’s minimum wage is $719.20 per week or $18.93 per hour.
- A mere 50 years ago, men dominated the workforce with women expected to stay home. In 1978, women accounted for 35% of the entire workforce. While it’s been a gradual ascent, today women represent close to 47% of the Australian workforce.
- On average, women earn $0.85 for every $1 made by a man. While the gender pay gap has hovered between 15% and 19% over the last two decades, it’s currently at 15.3%.
- We’re living longer and retiring later. In 1987 the average life expectancy was 76, now it’s 83. Australia’s population and the workforce is ageing. The median age of workers is currently 40 years old.
- More and more Australians are opting for casual, contract or “gig” work. According to Accenture, 67% of workers want to pursue freelance or self-employment opportunities because they feel it gives them greater autonomy over their career.
- Casual or contract workers now represent more than one-fifth of Australia’s entire workforce, with more than half (57%) of these workers choosing to work this way for reasons such as work-life balance.