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1318.3 - Qld Stats, Nov 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/11/2007   
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YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE LABOUR MARKET, QUEENSLAND, 2007

OVERVIEW
YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE LABOUR FORCE
WORK AND STUDY
OCCUPATION
INDUSTRY
LABOUR MOBILITY
EARNINGS
FURTHER INFORMATION

OVERVIEW

Many people enter the work force for the first time between the ages of 15 and 24 years, although young people may take a range of different pathways in the transition from education to a career. Some combine employment with ongoing study; some spend time seeking employment or working in a variety of temporary jobs; still others settle into a career path quickly. This transition from compulsory schooling to stable employment has tended to increase in duration over the last decade, primarily because young people are remaining in education for longer.

Regardless of whether they are studying or not, the income derived from employment is an important resource for young people. It may be their only economic resource or may represent an important step in increasing their economic independence. Employment also provides an opportunity to develop work and social skills. However, employment for young people can be quite different from employment for older people and is often characterised by lower paid jobs, less skilled occupations and less job security.

This article examines the labour force characteristics of young Queenslanders aged 15–24 years. These characteristics include: participation, full-time and part-time employment, and unemployment. This article will also examine job characteristics, such as occupation, industry, change in employer/business and earnings, and the links between education and work.

In this article estimates have been rounded and discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.


YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE LABOUR FORCE

Labour Force Participation Rate

Between 1986-87 and 2006-07, the labour force participation rate in Queensland, for all people aged 15 years and over increased from 62% in 1986-87 to 67% in 2006-07. The participation rate for young people aged 15–19 years also increased from 65% to 68% while the rate for those aged 20–24 years remained stable (83% to 84%).

In contrast to the stability of the participation rate for young people, there were major changes to the proportions of young people in employment and to the patterns of full-time employment, part-time employment and unemployment during the same period.


LABOUR FORCE STATUS, QUEENSLAND

1986-87
2006-07


15–19 years
20–24 years
Total aged
15–24 years
Total aged 15
years and over
15–19 years
20–24 years
Total aged
15–24 years
Total aged 15
years and over

Employed'000
116.0
153.2
269.2
1126.3
174.3
232.8
407.1
2099.3
Full-time '000
75.0
134.4
209.4
903.3
64.0
170.9
234.9
1526.2
Part-time '000
41.0
18.8
59.8
223.0
110.3
61.9
172.2
573.1
Unemployed '000
33.3
25.0
58.2
123.6
22.1
13.2
35.2
87.3
Labour Force '000
149.2
178.2
327.4
1249.9
196.3
246.0
442.3
2186.6
Not in labour force '000
82.2
37.4
119.6
756.4
90.9
48.3
139.1
1069.9
Civilian population'000
231.5
215.5
447.0
2006.3
287.2
294.2
581.4
3256.5
Unemployment rate%
22.3
14.0
17.8
9.9
11.2
5.3
8.0
4.0
Participation rate %
64.5
82.7
73.2
62.3
68.4
83.6
76.1
67.1

Source: Labour Force, Australia - Electronic Delivery (cat. no 6291.0.55.001).


Employment

The proportion of the civilian population aged 15 years and over in employment in Queensland has grown steadily over the last 20 years, from 56% in 1986-87 to 64% in 2006-07.

The proportion of employed young people (aged 15–24 years) was slightly higher, being 60% in 1986-87 and 70% in 2006-07. Over this period, the number of employed young people grew from 269,200 to 407,100. This growth in employment was accompanied by a relatively steady shift towards part-time work.
  • Full-time employment

Over the last twenty years, the proportion of all persons employed full-time in the civilian population aged 15 years and over rose from 45% in 1986-87 to 47% in 2006-07.

The proportion of young people aged 15–19 years in full-time employment decreased, from 32% in 1986-87 to 22% in 2006-07. This is consistent with increasing rates of participation in non-compulsory education. A similar decrease in full-time employment was recorded for those aged 20–24 years, from 62% in full-time employment in 1986-87 to 58% in 2006-07.

The number of 20–24 year olds employed full-time increased from 134,400 in 1986-87 to 170,900 in 2006-07. In contrast, the number of 15–19 year olds in full-time employment decreased from 75,000 to 64,000 over the same period. In older age groups, the number of persons employed full-time has increased relatively steadily over time between 1986-87 and 2006-07.
  • Part-time employment
Between 1986-87 and 2006-07, the participation rate in Queensland for the civilian population aged 15 years and over increased from 62% to 67%. During the same time, the proportion of people in part-time employment increased from 11% of the civilian population aged 15 years and over to 18%.

This trend towards part-time employment was even more pronounced for young people. In 1986-87, almost one-fifth (18%) of people aged 15–19 years worked part-time. In 2006-07, twice this proportion or almost two-fifths (38%) worked part-time. There was also an increase in the proportion of people aged 20–24 years who worked part-time, rising from 8.7% to 21% during the same period.


Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate in Queensland fell from 9.9% in 1986-87 to 4.0% in 2006-07. In comparison, the Australian unemployment rate fell from 8.1% to 4.5% over the same time.

Unemployment rates for young Queenslanders aged 15–24 years reflected a similar pattern of decline, falling from 17.8% in 1986-87 to 8.0% in 2006-07. The unemployment rate for persons aged 15–19 years was 22.3% in 1986-87 and 11.2% in 2006-07. The 20–24 years age group recorded lower unemployment rates of 14.0% and 5.3% for the same periods.

UNEMPLOYMENT RATES, QUEENSLAND
Graph: Unemployment Rates, Queensland

Source: Labour Force, Australia - Electronic Delivery(cat. no 6291.0.55.001).

Unemployed Persons

Young people (aged 15–24 years) form a large part of the total number of unemployed people. In Queensland in 1986-87, this age group accounted for 47% of unemployed persons, decreasing to 40% of the total unemployed in 2006-07. These are similar to the national proportions, 46% and 39% respectively.

In Queensland in 2006-07, there were 35,200 unemployed persons aged 15–24 years, nearly two-thirds the number (58,200) in 1986-87. The number of unemployed persons generally decreases with successive age groups. Over the 20 years from 1987, the general trend in the number of unemployed people has been downwards in the younger age groups and fairly steady for the other age groups.


WORK AND STUDY

Increased participation in non-compulsory education has impacted on the pattern of employment of young people. The combination of work and study may provide a number of benefits, including: advancing life skills, identifying career options, developing work skills and funding education and living expenses. There are a range of ways in which work and study can be combined, depending on the priorities of the student. However, the combination of part-time work with part-time study is uncommon among 15–24 year olds, suggesting one activity, either employment or study, takes precedence in their life.

In Queensland, the proportion of people aged 15–24 years attending full-time education increased from 28% in 1986-87 to 41% in 2006-07.

Labour Force Participation

The labour force participation rate of people aged 15–24 years who were not studying full-time was similar in both 1986-87 and 2006-07 (87% and 88% respectively). In contrast, the labour force participation rate of those attending full-time education in the same age group increased from 38% to 59% over the same period.

LABOUR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATES BY EDUCATION ATTENDANCE, 15 –24 YEAR OLDS, QUEENSLAND
Graph: Labour force participation rates by education attendance, 15-24 year olds, Queensland
Source: Labour Force, Australia - Electronic Delivery (cat. no 6291.0.55.001).

OCCUPATION

Younger people are more likely to be employed in less skilled and therefore less well paid occupations. This is generally due to a lack of work experience or perhaps to lower levels of educational attainment.

In Queensland in August 2007, the dominant occupation groups for 15-24 year olds were Sales workers (21%),Technicians and trades workers (19%) and Labourers (18%).

MOST COMMON OCCUPATION GROUPS OF EMPLOYED PEOPLE AGED 15–24 YEARS, AUGUST 2007, QUEENSLAND

15–19 years
20–24 years
Total aged 15 –24 years
Total
Total
Full-time
Part-time
Total
('000)
('000)
('000)
('000)
('000)

MALES

Technicians and Trades Workers
21.8
43.3
59.8
5.2
65.1
Community and Personal Service Workers
5.6
9.0
6.7
7.9
14.6
Clerical and Administrative Workers
*3.7
7.3
6.8
4.2
11.0
Sales Workers
15.8
12.6
10.1
18.3
28.4
Labourers
28.6
23.0
26.0
25.7
51.6
Other(a)
7.0
26.2
27.4
5.7
33.2
Total
82.5
121.5
136.9
67.1
203.9

FEMALES

Technicians and Trades Workers
3.9
7.8
8.8
*2.8
11.7
Community and Personal Service Workers
12.3
19.6
13.4
18.5
31.9
Clerical and Administrative Workers
15.1
29.1
31.8
12.4
44.2
Sales Workers
37.3
19.4
14.4
42.3
56.7
Labourers
10.8
10.2
6.1
14.9
20.9
Other(a)
*3.3
24.8
23.8
4.2
28.1
Total
82.8
110.7
98.4
95.1
193.5

PERSONS

Technicians and Trades Workers
25.7
51.1
68.7
8.1
76.8
Community and Personal Service Workers
17.9
28.6
20.1
26.4
46.5
Clerical and Administrative Workers
18.9
36.4
38.6
16.7
55.2
Sales Workers
53.2
31.9
24.5
60.6
85.1
Labourers
39.4
33.2
32.0
40.5
72.6
Other(a)
10.3
51.0
51.3
10.0
61.2
Total
165.3
232.1
235.2
162.2
397.4

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.
(a) Includes Managers, Professionals and Machinery operators and drivers.
Source: ABS data available on request, Labour Force Survey.

Men

Just over one-third (35%) of men aged 15-19 years and nearly one-fifth (19%) of 20-24 year olds worked as Labourers. Technicians and trades workers (36%) were the most common occupation group for men aged 20-24 years and accounted for 26% of employed men aged 15-19 years.

Women

In Queensland, in August 2007, the most common occupation groups for women aged 15-19 years were Sales workers (45%) and Clerical and administrative workers (18%). For women aged 20-24 years the most common occupation group was Clerical and administrative workers (26%). Community and personal service workers and Sales workers each accounted for a further 18%.

Full-time and part-time

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of 15-19 year olds are employed part-time. In contrast only around one in four (25%) of 20-24 year olds are employed part-time.

Seven out of ten (71%) of 15-24 year old Sales workers are employed part-time and nearly nine out of ten (89%) Technicians and trades workers of this age group are employed full-time.

INDUSTRY

In August 2007, in Queensland, five industries accounted for nearly two-thirds (63%) of the employment of 15–24 year olds. The Retail trade industry was most likely to provide employment to young people, with just under a quarter (23%) employed in this industry.

MOST COMMON INDUSTRY GROUPS OF EMPLOYED PEOPLE AGED 15–24 YEARS, AUGUST 2007, QUEENSLAND

15–19 years
20–24 years
Total aged 15 –24 years
Total
Total
Full-time
Part-time
Total
('000)
('000)
('000)
('000)
('000)

MALES

Manufacturing
6.1
19.1
22.2
*3.1
25.3
Construction
11.9
22.3
31.4
*2.8
34.2
Retail trade
23.2
17.3
17.1
23.4
40.5
Accommodation and food services
14.2
10.4
8.1
16.5
24.5
Health care and social assistance
*1.3
*3.5
*2.2
*2.6
4.9
Other(a)
25.8
48.8
55.8
18.7
74.6
TOTAL
82.5
121.5
136.9
67.1
203.9

FEMALES

Manufacturing
3.9
5.0
5.7
*3.2
8.8
Construction
1.0
*3.3
4.1
*0.2
4.3
Retail trade
29.6
20.0
16.4
33.3
49.7
Accommodation and food services
21.8
15.3
11.3
25.7
37.0
Health care and social assistance
4.2
15.9
10.0
10.2
20.1
Other(a)
22.3
51.2
51.0
22.5
73.5
TOTAL
82.8
110.7
98.4
95.1
193.5

PERSONS

Manufacturing
10.0
24.1
27.9
6.3
34.1
Construction
12.9
25.6
35.5
*3.0
38.5
Retail trade
52.8
37.3
33.4
56.7
90.1
Accommodation and food services
35.9
25.6
19.4
42.2
61.6
Health care and social assistance
5.6
19.4
12.2
12.8
25.0
Other(a)
48.1
100.0
106.8
41.3
148.1
TOTAL
165.3
232.1
235.2
162.2
397.4

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.
(a) Includes Agriculture, forestry and fishing, Mining, Electricity, gas and water and waste services, Wholesale trade, Transport, postal and warehousing, Information media and telecommunications, Financial and insurance services, Rental, hiring and real estate services, Professional, scientific and technical services, Administrative and support services, Public administration and safety, Education and training, Arts and recreational services and Other services.
Source: ABS data available on request, Labour Force Survey.

Men

The most common industry groups for men aged 15-19 years were Retail trade (28%), Accommodation and food services (17%) and Construction (14%). For men aged 20-24 years Construction (18%) and Manufacturing (16%) were the most common industry groups.

Women

In Queensland, in August 2007, just over one-third (36%) of women aged 15-19 years were employed in the Retail trade industry. Accommodation and food services accounted for 26% of employed women in this age group.

Retail trade (18%), Health care and social assistance (14%) and Accommodation and food services (14%) were the dominant employing industries for women aged 20-24 years.

Full-time and part-time

The majority of young people (aged 15-24) employed in the Accommodation and food services industry and the Retail trade industry are part-time (69% and 63% respectively). In contrast, the majority of employed people of this age group in the Construction industry (92%) and the Manufacturing industry (82%) are full-time.

LABOUR MOBILITY

In Queensland, in the twelve months to February 2006, 86,800 people aged 15–24 years had changed employer or business in the previous 12 months. Young people may move between jobs for voluntary reasons. For example, changing jobs may assist them to further their careers and/or adapt to changing educational commitments. On the other hand, movement between jobs may be involuntary or linked to less secure employment.

The proportion of persons who had changed employer or business was greatest for the 20–24 years age group for both men and women and declined with increasing age. Just over a quarter (28%) of men aged 20–24 years had a change of employer or business, compared to 24% for women of the same age.
PERSONS WHO WERE WORKING FEBRUARY 2006, QUEENSLAND
Proportion who changed employer/business in the last 12 months

Graphs: Persons who were working February 2006, Queensland: Proportion who changed employer/business in the last 12 months
Source: ABS data available on request, Labour Mobility Survey.


EARNINGS

Lack of training, lower education levels and a predominance of part-time employment may contribute to lower earnings of young people. Increased experience and movement to full-time employment lead to increased average incomes. In August 2006, the average weekly earnings for young people rose almost linearly with their age from around $80 a week for 15 year olds to around $840 a week for men and $610 a week for women at age 24 years.

AVERAGE WEEKLY EARNINGS BY AGE, AUGUST 2006, QUEENSLAND

Graph - Average weekly earnings by age, August 2006, Queensland
Source: ABS data available on request, Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership Survey.

In Queensland, people aged 15–19 years had the lowest average weekly earnings of full-time employees, $469 compared to the highest earning age group (35–44 years) of $1141. Men aged 20–24 years who had full-time employment earned $839 a week compared to $672 for women, while for part-time employees of this age group men ($330) earned slightly more than women ($319).

FURTHER INFORMATION

ABS Sources

Data in this article were extracted from the following data cubes which are available on the ABS web site:

ABS data available on request was obtained from the following surveys:


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