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4714.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/10/2009   
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LABOUR FORCE STATUS


Three aspects of labour force status are highlighted in this publication:



LABOUR FORCE PARTICIPATION

In 2008, there were 202,500 Indigenous people in the labour force (that is, employed or unemployed), representing almost two-thirds of the total Indigenous population aged 15 years and over, or a participation rate of 62%. Compared to 2002, the participation rate has not changed significantly (60%).

Reflecting differences in the labour profile of Australian states and territories, there were differences in Indigenous participation rates. In 2008, the highest rate was in the Australian Capital Territory (78%) and the lowest rates were in New South Wales and the Northern Territory (57% and 59% respectively).

6.1 PARTICIPATION RATE(a), by state or territory of usual residence - 2008
Graph: Participation rate by state or territory of usual residence - 2008



EMPLOYMENT

The employment to population ratio provides the number of people who were employed as a proportion of the total population of interest. In 2008, there were 169,100 employed Indigenous persons, representing just over half (52%) of Indigenous people aged 15 years and over. There were higher levels of Indigenous employment in 2008 compared to 2002 (46%).


UNEMPLOYMENT

The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed people expressed as a proportion of the total labour force (that is, employed or unemployed). In 2008, there were 33,400 unemployed Indigenous persons aged 15 years and over, reflecting an unemployment rate of 16.5%. Indigenous people had lower levels of unemployment in 2008 compared to 2002 (22.9%).

The unemployment rate for Indigenous people differed across the states and territories. In 2008, the lowest rate was 9.7% in the Australian Capital Territory and the highest rate was 20.6% in New South Wales.

6.2 UNEMPLOYMENT RATE(a), by state or territory of usual residence - 2008
Graph: Unemployment rate by state or territory of usual residence - 2008



COMPARISON TO THE AUSTRALIAN CIVILIAN POPULATION

The following table provides a comparison between Indigenous people from the 2008 NATSISS and the Australian civilian population (including Indigenous people) from the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Data from the LFS have been averaged over the NATSISS enumeration period (August 2008 to April 2009).

The Australian civilian population has been used for comparison as non-Indigenous estimates for August 2008 to April 2009 were not available at the time of publication. Estimates for the Australian civilian population and non-Indigenous people are expected to be very similar. The underlying concepts used to collect data on labour force status in the LFS are similar to the 2008 NATSISS, but there are differences between the two surveys that should be considered when making comparisons.See Appendix 1 for more information.

In 2008, Indigenous people aged 15-64 years were less likely to participate in the labour force than the civilian population of the same age group (65% and 77% respectively) and were also less likely to be employed (54% compared to 73%). The unemployment rate for Indigenous people was more than three times the unemployment rate of the civilian population (16.6% and 5.0% respectively).

6.3 INDIGENOUS AND ALL PERSONS, by labour force status

Indigenous persons(a)
All persons(b)
15-24
25-34
35-44
45-54
55-64
Total
15-24
25-34
35-44
45-54
55-64
Total
Labour force status(c)
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000

Employed
47.2
40.4
40.7
28.9
10.3
167.4
1 875.1
2 354.2
2 487.8
2 387.4
1 421.0
10 525.6
Unemployed
16.1
8.6
5.5
2.7
*0.4
33.4
213.6
116.1
95.9
82.0
42.7
550.3
Total labour force
63.2
49.0
46.2
31.6
10.7
200.8
2 088.7
2 470.4
2 583.7
2 469.4
1 463.7
11 075.8
Not in the labour force
40.6
20.9
17.6
15.3
16.0
110.3
896.2
503.7
517.6
505.1
977.5
3 400.1
Total persons aged 15-64 years
103.8
69.9
63.9
46.9
26.6
311.1
2 984.9
2 974.0
3 101.3
2 974.5
2 441.2
14 476.0


* estimate has a relative standard error of 25–50% and should be used with caution.
(a) Data from the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey.
(b) Data for all persons is based on averaged monthly data from the Labour Force Survey (Aug08–Apr09) for the Australian civilian population aged 15–64 years (including Indigenous persons).
(c) Refer to the Glossary for information on calculating the participation rate, employment to population ratio and unemployment rate.
Note: The 2008 NATSISS population in this table varies to that shown in the summary tables. Therefore, these estimates will differ from other estimates presented.


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