Australia used to have the most secure jobs in the world

  • 20 December 2021

Whether it's casualised jobs with less rights, labour hire that underpays for the same job, part-time work without meaningful guaranteed hours, or years of low pay growth, insecure work is a serious problem for our community.  People with insecure work can’t plan their lives, struggle to pay their rent or mortgages, always worry if they’ll have enough to pay the weekly bills. Having a secure job is connected to so many basic things – mental health, food, housing.

When people don’t have stable or secure jobs, they have less money to spend in their local economy. This harms small local businesses and it holds us all back.

Spotlight on Job Insecurity and Wages: Tasmania

The insecure work crisis is hitting the workers of Tasmania hard.

  • Tasmania has the highest level of casual work (26.6%) in the country – that’s 4.7% higher than the national average.
  • Tasmanian workers earn 13% less than the Australian median weekly wage.
  • One in three workers in Tasmania are on insecure work arrangements including casual, independent contractor or fixed term contracts.

Insecure work puts people’s lives on hold. It puts tremendous financial and emotional strain on families struggling to make ends meet or balance work life commitments. It also makes planning and saving for the future often impossible.  It also hurts all of us.

Workers in insecure work and on low pay can’t support their community and local businesses.

Insecure work has also made it harder for communities to fight the pandemic.

Workers lacking job security and fair pay will face greater barriers to take time off work to get tested and isolate or vaccinated if they are under serious financial stress and lack job security. This will be an acute challenge for Tasmania should Covid-19 take hold.

The level of permanent full-time employment with full access to paid leave entitlements has been declining over many decades in Australia.
There are 80,500 workers in Tasmania who are now in non-standard employment in Tasmania.7
This is around 30% of all employed people in Tasmania.8

7 This excludes workers in permanent part-time work.

8 ABS Characteristics of Employment, August 2020. This does not include part time workers. It is based on % share of employed people.