The Productivity Commission has tracked the ever-changing nature of the Australian workforce, publishing a report into the different arrangements of employment over the 2001-11 period.

The Forms of Work in Australia report concluded that while employment in most forms grew in absolute terms over the ten year period, only permanent employees increased as a share of employment. This contrasts with the twenty years to 2001 when the share of casual employees in the workforce doubled to 20 per cent, according to this paper.

The increase in permanent employment comes during a marked decline of 2 – 3 per cent in the workforce share of the self-employed in unincorporated, while casual and fixed term employees were no more prevalent at the end of the decade than at the start.

“These relatively small changes in the workforce shares of different forms of work took place in a dynamic labour market: employment grew more rapidly in the decade to 2011 than in the preceding two decades, and the profile of net jobs created was quite different from the profile of employment in 2001,” the report concluded.

“Changes in the structure of employment over the decade appear not to have been a major driver of the observed changes. That said, a rise in the share of higher-skilled jobs was associated with the increased workforce share of permanent employees.”

The full report can be found here