High level work

This is the first part of my examination of 2016 Census data on employment for the catchment area of the Stoney Creek Gazette (which to save typing I will call the Gazette area).  There are quite a few posts on this blog already on the Census, so look at the tag Census in the list to the right.

Participation in the Labour force

The broadest topic about work covered in the Census is whether someone is in the Labour Force or not.  This question is, by international convention, limited to people aged 15 years or more: those under that age comprise the 'not applicable' category.  'Not stated' is largely self-explanatory although it could be noted it includes situations where person details were imputed due to a form not being received for an apparently occupied house.  The people in the Labour Force are subdivided into 5 categories and those respondents aged 15+ who aren't in one of those are Not in the Labour Force.
 The Gazette area had a higher proportion of people in full-time work (35 hours or more per week) than Australia but a lower proportion of part time workers.  Overall, 51% of people in the Gazette area were employed compared to 46% for Australia as a whole.  There were lower proportions of people looking for work (ie unemployed): 1.7% for the Gazette area vs 3.4% for Australia) and Not In the Labour Force.

The main item covered in the media is the proportion of people in the Labour Force in each of the components thereof.
With the lower total number of people in scope to the chart the length of the bars in this chart are longer.  97% of the Gazette area Labour Force are employed compared with 93% for Australia.

Labour Force x Sex

A very basic extension is to look at the topic classified  by sex.

The Gazette area has a slightly higher rate of employment for males than females. That also applies, with a higher differential, for Australia.  The biggest difference between the Gazette area and Australia is the proportion of in-scope females who are not in the Labour Force in Australia.  Our females are workers!

I was also struck by the contrasts with respect to Part Time Work between:
  1. the Gazette area and Australia; and
  2. males and females
This is summarised in the following chart which shows part time as a proportion of the total (part time + full time + away from work) for each of the 4 categories.
For both males and females Part Time work is far less a factor in the Gazette area than for Australia as a whole.  At both levels of geography females are far more involved in Part Time work than males.  The most surprising feature was that for Australia as a whole more than 50% of the women looking for work wanted a part-time job.  Presumably child care responsibilities were/are a major driver of this.

Labour Force and Income

Without wishing to get too philosophical a major reason for working is receiving a pay packet (OK, a pay electronic transfer there days).  An aside: when I started work the packet contained cash money!

Hopefully this chart shows the relationship between Income and Labour Force status for the Gazette area.
The number of employed people in each income category (I have only shown the upper limit of each income class) rises quite steadily to the $k104 - $k156 category.  While I was initially surprised at the high number of people in that class it is where one might expect to find Executive Level staff from the public service.  Many of the people in the income group work in the public service, and given the age profile of people in the area it is quite reasonable to find them at that level.

There are very few unemployed people in the area and most of them are in the lower income classes.  A small number are in the highest brackets, which could easily be explained by people who "took a package" in 2016 but are still keen to keep working.

I was intrigued by the relatively high incomes of quite a few people Not In the Labour Force (NILF).  While the Census doesn't collect information on source of income I thought age might explain this distribution.  To get something that can easily be shown I collapsed the income data to 4 classes (roughly speaking they could be thought of as Low Income, Modest Income, Comfortable Income and Well-off) and cross classified it by 10 year age groups for NILF people.
The category with less than $26k personal income is bimodal, comprising two groups:
  • a group of mainly young people with zero income; and
  • a group peaking in their 7th decade possibly welfare/pension recipients.
The groups with $27k to $91k are mainly distributed in the 50 to 80 age groups and most likely comprise people who have retired with superannuation entitlements.  The highest income group (>$91k ) are 50-70 years of age and I suspect are those with generous superannuation entitlements and/or recipients of packages from the public service (but who are not looking for work).  


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