18 August 2016
Sydney, 18 August 2016: Employment in the finance and insurance industry has been a strong driver of employment growth over the past year, contributing to the resilience in the overall labour market, the Australian Bankers’ Association said today.
“Today’s Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force data highlights that employment growth in Australia has been resilient, with employment growing by 1.9 per cent over the year to July,” ABA Chief Economist Tony Pearson said today.
“The most recent data of employment by industry showed that growth in finance and insurance jobs has been among the strongest, lifting 9.9 per cent over the year to May,” he said.
A new ABA report, Australian jobs in banking, also released today shows that finance sector jobs offer good conditions and wages. Around 55 per cent of the people employed in the finance industry are women, and the single largest group of employees are female clerical workers.
“Banks are an important provider of jobs in Australia, employing around 150,000 people,” Mr Pearson said.
“Most finance jobs are in NSW and Victoria, however the finance sector is an important employer in every state and in regional areas. For example, in Queensland – which is dealing with the mining slowdown – the finance and insurance industry has been an important source of job growth, averaging 8,000 new jobs in the year to May. This is a growth rate of 13.2 per cent, compared with the overall Queensland labour force growth of 1.4 per cent.
“Wage growth has also been solid for finance and insurance workers, including for the many thousands of employees covered by enterprise agreements.
“Data from the Workplace Gender and Equality Agency shows that 87 per cent of banks offer flexible working arrangements, compared to only half of all employers,” Mr Pearson added.
Other key findings of the report include:
- Over half of banks’ total spending is for employee wages, making it their single largest expense.
- Unemployment in the finance and insurance industry is around half that of the national labour force and underemployment is also low in the industry, indicating many workers can find arrangements that are suitable for them.
- The finance and insurance industry has the highest share of workers receiving paid leave entitlements.
- Total hourly earnings for finance and insurance workers increased by 2.6 per cent over the year to March 2016, the fastest growth of all industries.
- The finance and insurance industry is the 11th largest employer in Australia.
A copy of the report is available on the ABA website.
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Interviewed by AM’s Peter Ryan, ABA CEO Anna Bligh talked about the substantial drop in loan deferrals since their peak during the pandemic, falling from 900,000 to 300,000.