Business owners could be becoming an endangered species: according to a new report on unincorporated business owners across Australia compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Over the past eight years, the number of people whose main source of income was derived from an unincorporated business declined 11.2% to 905,000 in 2003-04.
It’s perhaps not a surprising trend given the other key finding of the report; the average unincorporated business owner earned several thousand dollars a year less than the average wage earner over the period.
They declined from 1,019,181 in 1996–97 to 905,000 in 2003-04, according to the ABS.
Unincorporated business owners drew an income from the business of $22,610 in 1996–97 and $34,697 in 2003-04, compared to wage earners on $29,684 in 1996-97 and $38,820 in 2003-04.
The good news? Business owners’ earnings, although consistently less than wage earners, grew more quickly over the period to 2003-04, increasing 53.5% compared to a 30.8% growth in wages.