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					The Ageing Workforce
The State of Working Victoria Project, Information Paper No. 4

Executive Summary
The ageing workforce
The implications of the ageing workforce for Australia and in particular Victoria have been identified in a number of recent research reports. This report outlines the broad distribution of the Victorian workforce by age. A number of issues were identified in this paper: • Which age groups of workers are most likely to be working in non-standard forms or employment (such as casual, contract and part-time) • The concentration of particular age groups in specific industries • How the occupational distribution of workers changes as workers get older • How employer-provided training varies according to age, and • How attitudes towards work vary according to the age of workers. • There are significantly more female workers aged 40 to 49 than male workers. This is the only age group with a higher proportion of female than male workers. • For all Victorian workers, 22 per cent of males and 21 per cent females are aged over 50. • For younger workers, 9 per cent of males and 8 per cent of females are aged less than 20 years.

Are there age differences in sectors?
• The private sector is most likely to employ workers less than 20 years of age, and least likely to employ workers aged over 60 years. • The government sector is most likely to employ older workers years, and least likely to employ workers less than 20 years of age.

How old are working Victorians?
• Less than 1 per cent of the Victorian workforce are older persons (65 years plus). • A total of 32 per cent of the Victorian workforce are mature-age workers (45 to 64 years). • More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of the Victorian workforce are aged under 45 years. • Only 9 per cent of the Victorian workforce are aged less than 20 years. • The largest age group in the Victorian workforce is 40 to 44 years. • The smallest age group in the Victorian workforce is older persons (65 years plus).

Are there age differences in occupations?
• Different age categories have different occupational patterns. • Workers less than 20 years of age are most likely to be less-skilled clerical workers and tradespersons (apprentices). • Workers aged 30 years to 60 years are most likely to be managers and professionals. • Workers aged 50 years to 59 years are most likely to be blue/pink collar and less-skilled clerical workers. • Workers aged 60 and over are most likely to be either managers and professionals or blue/pink collar and less-skilled clerical.

Are there age differences between genders?
• Overall, there are more males than females in the Victorian workforce (55 per cent to 45 per cent).

Are there age differences in industries?
• Workers aged less than 20 years work mostly in retail trade or manufacturing.

• Workers aged 30 years to 39 years and 50 to 54 years work mostly in property and business services and manufacturing. • Workers aged 40 years to 49 years mostly in manufacturing, health and community services and education. • Workers aged over 60 mainly work in retail trade, property and business services, government, health and community services, and personal and other services.

Are older workers more likely to have an injury or illness?
• Older workers are not injured or ill more frequently than younger workers. • Workers aged less than 29 years are most likely to have had an injury or illness in the last year. • Workers over 30 years were less likely to have had an injury or illness in the last year, with the exception of 45 to 49 year old workers.

Are there differences between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan workers?
• There is very little age difference between metropolitan and non-metropolitan workers. • Rural workers aged between 30 and 49 have a higher participation rate than metropolitan area workers.

Are older workers less likely to receive workplace training?
• Employer-provided training tends to increase as workers get older, peaking between 40 and 49 years and then decreasing. • Workers aged 40 to 49 are most likely to receive workplace training. • Workers aged less than 20 and over 60 are least likely to receive training. • 76 per cent of employer-provided training is received by workers aged 20 to 49.

Are there age differences in the type of employment?
• Part-time work is most predominant in younger and older workers; 66 per cent of workers less than 20 years of age work part-time. • Part-time work is not that common in older age groups; only 10 per cent of workers aged 50 to 59 years work part-time. • Younger workers are also most likely to be in casual work, with almost 60 per cent of casual workers less than 29 years old. • Older workers are least likely to be in casual work, with only 10 per cent of casual workers aged over 50. • 61 per cent of contractors are aged over 40. • Only 8 per cent of contractors are aged less than 20.

Do older workers have different work attitudes than younger workers?
• Older workers are more satisfied with their jobs than younger workers. • 60 per cent of workers aged less than 20 years old agree they feel fairly well satisfied, whereas 96 per cent of workers 60 to 64 years agree. • Younger workers are more likely than older workers to feel alienated from their work. • Older workers are more likely than younger workers to feel insecure about their future at their workplace. • Older workers are more likely to feel that their job leaves them with very little time to get everything done than younger workers. • Younger workers are more likely to think about leaving their job than older workers. • Younger workers see more opportunity for promotion than older workers. • Older workers are less likely to perceive that they have job autonomy than younger workers.

Are older workers paid more than younger workers?
• Over 90 per cent of workers aged less then 24 years are low-paid. • From age 30 to 54 years, workers are more likely to be high-paid than low-paid. • For workers aged 55 years an over, equal proportions are low-paid and high-paid.

The State of Working Victoria Project, Information Paper No. 4, 2005 Authorised by the Victorian Government, 55 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000


				
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