Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Educated, professional, staying put. The census second wave

Me on ABC Adelaide 891 today

15 minutes, play or CLICK THEN CLICK AGAIN to download mp3

Far from making Australia more dynamic, the mining boom appears to have pushed us back into our shells. The second wave of results from the 2011 census released Tuesday show that in the five years in which the boom was its strongest Australians became less likely to move home and less likely to to work long hours, although keener to study.

An extraordinary quarter of a million of the West Australians questioned on census night had arrived from outside the boom state in the preceding five years. But the census finds the overwhelming majority came from overseas. Only 22,000 came from NSW, 19,500 from Victoria and 19,500 from Queensland.

Nationwide, 84.1 per cent of those surveyed slept in the same house on census night as they had one year earlier, up from 81.3 per cent in 2001 and the highest proportion in decades. A long-term high of 58.3 per cent slept in the same house they had five years earlier.

The proportion of workers who put in forty or more hours a week fell from 47.2 per cent in 2006 to to 45.3 per cent. Women became more important as managers, accounting for a record 35.4 per cent of all management positions in 2011, up from just 28 per cent in 2001. Women also increasingly dominated professional positions, accounting for 53.8 per cent of all professionals, up from 51 per cent a decade earlier.

Some 21 per cent of Australian workers now call themselves professionals, around one in every five. When taken together with managers the proportion is one in every three.

But management is slowly shrinking as an occupation, counterbalanced a rise in the description “professional”. Managers have slipped from 13.3 to 12.9 per cent of the Australian workforce in the past ten years. Professionals have climbed from 18.7 to 21.3 per cent.

The proportion of unskilled workers employed in jobs including cleaning, labouring, process work and food preparation has fallen below one in ten - the lowest on record...

Retailing is no longer Australia’s biggest employer. In the latest census it cedes the crown to “health care and social assistance” which employs health and welfare support workers, carers and aides, hospitality workers, protective service workers and sports and personal services workers. The sector now accounts for 1.17 million workers (79 per cent of them women) after putting on an extra 211,500 in the past five years. By contrast mining remains tiny - directly employing only 176,500 workers in 2011, up from 107,000.

Australians are more educated than ever before. More than 2.3 million now hold at least a bachelors degree, up from 1.4 million in 2001. The number with postgraduate qualifications has doubled from 473,000 in 2001 to 900,100.

Women increased their dominance in higher education, climbing from 53.8 per cent of all degree holders in 2001 to 55.9 per cent in 2011.

Engineering is by far the most popular field of study for men, with 1.4 million enrolled in 2011. Management and commerce was the next most popular (700,806 enrolments), followed by architecture and building (505,352).

Women are most likely to study management and commerce with 1.04 million enrolments, followed by health (677,693), society and culture (671,036) and education (537,607).

In today's Sydney Morning Herald and Age

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