The gig economy has taken hold in Australia

Photo: Amer Ghazzal/Barcroft Media/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The latest release of data from the 2016 census shows that the gig economy, characterised by temporary jobs and part-time contracts, has taken hold in Australia.

“The gig economy is on the rise,” says demographers McCrindle in an analysis of the census data.

Over the past five years the Australian labour force population has grown by more than 800,000 people, rising to 11,471,298 in 2016, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The number of Australians employed part-time has risen by 14% since 2011. At the same time the number of full-time workers has only gained 4%.

Today, one in three working Australians are employed part-time, up 3% since 2011.

A quarter of a century ago, just one in 10 were employed part-time.

Australia ranks only behind Switzerland and the Netherlands as having the highest proportion of workers employed part-time.

Demographers McCrindle say the data reveals a fascinating snapshot of how we work and are educated.

The number of Australians with a university degree up 6% in a decade, a higher proportion are driving to work, and work-life balance is more important.

The three most common qualifications, by field of study, are management and commerce, engineering and society and culture.

The proportion of workers driving to work has increased by 0.5% since 2011. Nearly seven in 10 (69%) drive themselves to work while another 5% ride along as passengers. Today an additional 466,885 are commuting by car compared to five year ago.

Sydney, Australia’s biggest city, leads travel by public transport with nearly double the proportion of commuters travelling by train, bus, tram or ferry than any other capital city (Sydney 21%, Melbourne 13%, Brisbane 11%, Adelaide 8%, Perth 8%, Hobart 5%, Darwin 7% and Canberra 7%).

One in five (22%) working men are tradesman or technicians with the three most popular male-dominated occupations being electricians, carpenters/joiners and truck drivers.

For women, the top occupations are registered nurses, general clerks and receptionists.

The biggest fall in employment by industry is manufacturing, which has seen the loss of 219,141 workers in the five years since the previous census.

Australian’s working hard but trying to get a balance Australians are most likely to work 35 to 40 hours per week, with two in five (40%) working these hours.

The census shows the percentage working more than 40 hours a week dropping to 26% in 2016 from 29% in 2011.

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