Australian Employment Trends

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Australian Employment Trends Part 1, Tenure

The average tenure of Australian employee for the years between 2015 and 2019 are provided in the attached spreadsheet. Calculations and assumptions are elaborated in the strategy section.


Research Strategy:

We began our research by combing through all publicly available sources, including labor statistics domains, Australian government reports, and media. We didn't find any direct findings in these sources that stated the average number of years, however we found a report by the OECD that showed the Australian tenure by time segments, average number of employees and average number of years.

We then decided to use the OECD data to triangulate and calculate the information in order to get the average tenure years. The calculation was as follows (all data tables attached in the spreadsheet):


3.3 (<1 month years)* 362 (<1 month tenure employees) + 7.3 (1 to <6 months years)* 827(1 to <6 months employees) + 9.6 (6 to <12 months years)* 1,087 (6 to <12 months employees) + 20.3 (1 to <3 years)* 2,312 (1 to <3 years employees) + 15.1 (3 to <5 years)* 1,720 (3 to <5 years employees) + 20.8 (5 to <10 years)* 2,411 (5 to <10 years employees) + 23.6 (10 years and over years)* 3,032 (10 years and over employees) / 11,749 (total number of employees) = 18.1 years (average)


3.4 (<1 month years)* 393 (<1 month tenure employees) + 7.5 (1 to <6 months years)* 855 (1 to <6 months employees) + 9.8 (6 to <12 months years)* 1,127 (6 to <12 months employees) + 20.5 (1 to <3 years)*2,413 (1 to <3 years employees) + 14.4 (3 to <5 years)* 1,696 (3 to <5 years employees) + 19.9 (5 to <10 years)* 2,319 (5 to <10 years employees) + 24.5 (10 years and over years)* 3,154 (10 years and over employees) / 11,956 (total number of employees) = 18.1 years (average)


3.6 (<1 month years)* 418 (<1 month tenure employees) + 7.7(1 to <6 months years)* 909 (1 to <6 months employees) + 9.6 (6 to <12 months years)* 1,127 (6 to <12 months employees) + 20.9 (1 to <3 years)* 2,486 (1 to <3 years employees) + 14 (3 to <5 years)* 1,717 (3 to <5 years employees) + 19.2 (5 to <10 years)* 2,321 (5 to <10 years employees) + 25 (10 years and over years)* 3,295 (10 years and over employees) / 12,273 (total number of employees) = 18.1 years (average)

For the year of 2018 we were able to find a report that indicated the tenure number of years.

As for 2019, since the data is calculated and reported only after the year is over, we have used an estimate from the 2018 report. We believe it would be safe to assume that the average tenure of an Australian employee will be somewhere between 3 and 4 years.

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Australian Employment Trends Part 1, Gig Participation

The number of gig economy workers in Australia has risen significantly since 2015, when 4.1 million people participated as a means of employment (whether supplemental or primary). According to our research and calculations, that number increased to over nine million in 2018. All the available, requested data is included in the attached spreadsheet.


  • In 2015, 4.1 million Australians participated in gig-based employment (in 2014 that number was 3.7 million).
  • According to our data-based triangulated calculation, 3.9672 million Australians participated in gig-baesd employment in 2016. In calculating that, we first learned that a research study conducted by industry source Upwork found that approximately "35% of the Australian freelancing workforce" was accounted for by independent contractors.
  • Next, we found the percentage of the Australian workforce comprised of independent contractors in 2016 (11.6%). We then found the number of workers in Australia in 2016, which was 11.97 million. With those values, we then calculated the number of Australian freelancers in 2016.
  • The first step in that calculation was to multiply 11.97 million by 0.116 (representing 11.6%), which equals 1,388,520 (estimated number of independent contractors in Australia in 2016). Next, we implemented the following cross calculation (written in words) to determine the number of freelancers in 2016: 35(%) is to 100% as 1,388,520 is to X.
  • We then multiplied 100 and 1,388,520. Lastly, we divided that sum by 35, which equals 3,967,200 (estimated number of Australian freelancers in 2016).
  • The number of Australians projected to participate in gig-based employment between February and July 2017 was 10.8 million. That value translates to 60% of people who work in Australia.
  • According to our data-based, triangulated calculation, 9,003,600 Australians were estimated to have participated in gig-based employment in 2018. To formulate that calculation, we first found that 36% of people in Australia "were actively participating in at least one sharing platform" in 2018.
  • Next, we found Australia's 2018 population, which was 25.01 million. To calculate the number of Australians that participated in gig-based employment in 2018, we simply multiplied 25.01 million by 0.36(%), which equals 9,003,600.
  • Data about the number of Australians participating/projected to participate in gig-based employment in 2019 was not available (our research methods are described below). However, we were able to find that "7 percent of working Australians have used a digital platform over the past twelve months [June 2018-June 2019] to access work." We logically and reasonably assumed that "working Australians" means those who are reported as part of the workforce.
  • Accordingly, to translate that percentage into the estimated number of Australians participating in gig-based employment, we multiplied 0.07 (representing 7%) by 12,828,200 (the number of people working in Australia as of May 2019), which equals 897,974 (estimated number of Australians who participated in gig-based employment between June 2018 and June 2019).

Your research team applied the following strategy:

The one data point that was neither publicly available nor able to be triangulated for Australia as a whole was the number of Australians participating in gig-based employment in 2019. We looked for that data by using three different strategies. First, we looked for articles published about the Australian gig economy, as we had success with that approach for the other years. Few articles even discussed the Australian gig economy in 2019, but even in the few that did, no such information was included therein. For our second strategy, we looked at statistical sources such as those published by Statista for that information, but no such data charts or graphs contained the number or projected number of gig-based workers in Australia in 2019.

As a third strategy, we looked for information about growth projections for the gig economy in Australia, such as compound annual growth rate or market size. If that information had been available, we would have attempted to use it in conjunction with the number of gig-based workers from 2018, in order to estimate the number of gig-based workers for 2019. However, the only information we found from that approach was the percentage of "working Australians" who were part of the gig economy between June 2018 and June 2019. We used that information and conducted a triangulated calculation with that limited information, even though it doesn't apply to all Australians (as it was the best, relevant information available to us). The information that we found for the previous years came from a compilation of articles about the gig economy in Australia for the applicable years and most of those articles referenced survey data from Australian workers. A few of the sources are in Google Doc format because they were either PDF documents or from Statista (as links to that source don't always work).