The Worker Activities of Australian Employees


Alexis Esposto, Faculty of Higher Education, Swinburne University of Technology, Melba Avenue, Melba Avenue, Lilydale, VIC 3140, Australia. Email:


This study analyses changes in the labour market in terms of the specific activities that workers perform in Australia. The analysis uses an interface of the United States Government’s Occupational Information Network (O*NET) Generalised Worker Activities (GWA) taxonomy and Australian census employment data to provide an understanding of how the labour market has changed in terms of nine areas of work, such as physical activities and administering. Findings suggest that the intensity of worker activities in Australia has increased substantially for the whole of the labour force over a thirty-five-year period; however, these trends differ for different types of jobs, namely full-time and part-time work for men and women. When the worker activities are disaggregated into O*NET’s nine areas of work, the results show marked increases in worker activities requiring interaction and mental processes and declines in areas that require physical activities. Implications for the labour market include the necessity for a continuing policy to improve methods to train and retrain the Australian labour force and the need for continued investment in the education sector well into the future.