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Wednesday, 28 March 1973
Page: 840


Mr Lynch asked the Minister for Labour, upon notice:'

(1)   What is the estimated cost of labour turnover in the manufacturing industry.

(2)   What is the cost of labour turnover for industry as a whole.

(3)   What were the labour turnover figures in Australian industry for (a) manual and non-manual workers and (b) males and females in the years 1971 and 1972.

(4)   Has his Department carried out any surveys to show the cost per separation of (a) skilled employees, (b) semi-skilled employees and (c) unskilled employees.

(5)   Can he say how the Australian labour turnover rates compare with those of comparable countries in the Western world including the United States of America and Great Britain.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I am informed that the answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The last estimate made of the cost of labour turnover in Australian manufacturing industry was in 1970. On the basis of the figures available at the time of calculation was made that the overall cost of labour turnover for the 1967-68 financial year was at least $45. 5m, This is only a very approximate estimate due to inadequacies in the data available.

(2)   Because relevant data is not available it is not possible to arrive at a figure for the cost of labour turnover in Australian industry as a whole.

(3)   Labour turnover rates in Australian industry are surveyed for the month of March each year by the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics. The rates for 1971 and 1972 were as follows:

 

(4)   Enquiries by my Department into the cost of separation have taken the form of case studies in individual firms. A total of thirteen studies have been carried out over a number of years and employees covered in the studies have included skilled employees, semi-skilled employees and unskilled employees.

(5)   My Department attempted in 1970 to arrive at international comparisons for the years 1967-69. Because of such difficulties as the lack of uniformity in method of computing labour turnover statistics, variations from country to country in the industry groups and occupations covered by statistics and differences between countries in climatic, social and economic conditions which may influence labour turnover at a given time, the amount of usable information obtained was limited. In summary, the findings were:

(a)   Australian labour turnover rates for all males and females in manufacturing industry were considerably higher than those for Great Britain and Japan, slightly higher than those for New Zealand and approximately on a par to those for the United States.

(b)   Australian labour turnover rates for nonmanufacturing industry were higher than those for New Zealand.

(c)   Australian labour turnover rates for all industries were higher than those for New Zealand and Japan.







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