Australian Bureau of Statistics
1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2005
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/01/2005
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In the Labour Force Survey, people are considered to be unemployed if they satisfy three criteria: they are not employed; they are available for work; and they are taking active steps to find work.
As graph 6.35 shows, unemployment has generally declined from the levels recorded in the early-1990s. For the unemployed seeking full-time work, the trend generally reflected the overall impact of the economic cycle. In contrast, over the past two decades or more, the trend for those seeking part-time work has generally increased steadily, rising from 91,900 persons (or 14% of unemployed persons) in June 1984 to 150,400 persons (or 26% of unemployed persons) in June 2004.
In recent years the proportion of the unemployed who had experienced unemployment for less than 26 weeks has been rising steadily, while the proportion who experienced unemployment for 52 weeks and over (long-term unemployment) has been in decline. In 2003-04, 66% of unemployed persons had been unemployed for less than 26 weeks, while the long-term unemployed made up 21% of unemployment (table 6.36).
Educational qualifications have a significant bearing on labour market prospects. Table 6.37 shows the relationship between the level of highest educational attainment and duration of unemployment. Of unemployed persons with a bachelor degree or above in July 2003, 20% were long-term unemployed, compared with 26% of those whose highest educational attainment was Year 10 or below.
Unemployed persons may encounter a variety of difficulties in finding work. In the July 2003 survey, males and females reported most of the more common difficulties in largely similar proportions as shown in graph 6.38. However, females were more likely to report insufficient work experience as their main difficulty (16% compared with 10% for males), as well as difficulties that relate to concerns outside of the workplace, such as 'Unsuitable hours' (9% to 4%) and 'Difficulties with child care, other family responsibilities' (3% to 1%). Males were more likely to report their main difficulty as being 'Considered too young or too old by employers' (14% compared with 12% for females) and 'No vacancies at all' (10% compared with 7% for females).
This page last updated 20 April 2007
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