According to Roy Morgan, Australia’s working hours are down more than in previous years.

Australians worked an estimated 1.52 billion hours in June 2009 as opposed to 1.575 in June 2008. This equates to 56 million less hours worked in the preceding financial year.

Despite significant seasonal and monthly variation in hours worked, the data show a clear downward trend. Between January and June 2009, Australian’s worked 9.14 billion hours, 180 million less than the same period in 2008.

Roy Morgan’s analysis says the reduction in aggregate hours is not spread evenly across the Australian economy. The company claims the biggest losers are:

  • Young people (older people are working more hours)
  • Australia’s largest cities (country areas are virtually unchanged from a year ago)
  • Men (women are in fact working more hours), and
  • Manufacturing, mining, construction and retail workers.

“The dramatic fall-off in hours worked by younger Australians (under 25) shows just how hard it has been for younger Australians emerging from school and university over the past year to get a job — the contrast with the increasing hours worked by those over 35, and especially those 50+ is very apparent,” said Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan.

Industries that have grown include: recreation and personal, communication and financial, property and business services.