Actively looking for work
People who were taking active steps to find work. Active steps comprise:
Age of youngest child
Age of the youngest child under 13 years old in the household.
- registering with a Job Network employment agency
- contacting an employment agency
- contacting prospective employers
- answering a newspaper advertisement for a job
- checking Centrelink touch screens
- checking factory noticeboards
- advertising or tendering for work
- contacting friends or relatives.
Available to start work within four weeks
People who were available to start work within four weeks or, for people with children aged 12 years and under, could start work within four weeks if suitable child care was available.
Did not want to work
People who were not classified as employed or unemployed who:
Discouraged job seekers
People with marginal attachment to the labour force who wanted to work and were available to start work within the next four weeks but whose main reason for not actively looking for work was that they believed they would not find a job for any of the following reasons:
- answered 'no' when asked if they would like a job; or
- were aged 65 years and over and said that they were 'permanently not intending to work'.
People who, during the reference week:
- considered to be too young by employers
- considered to be too old by employers
- lacked necessary schooling, training, skills or experience
- difficulties because of language or ethnic background
- no jobs in their locality or line of work
- no jobs at all.
Two or more people, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering; and who are usually resident in the same household. The basis of a family is formed by identifying the presence of a couple relationship, lone parent-child relationship or other blood relationship. Some households will, therefore, contain more than one family.
- worked for one hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind in a job or business, or on a farm (comprising employees, employers and own account workers); or
- worked for one hour or more without pay in a family business or on a farm (i.e. contributing family workers); or
- were employees who had a job but were not at work and were:
- away from work for less than four weeks up to the end of the reference week; or
- away from work for more than four weeks up to the end of the reference week and received pay for some or all of the four week period to the end of the reference week; or
- away from work as a standard work or shift arrangement; or
- on strike or locked out; or
- on workers' compensation and expected to return to their job; or
- were employers or own account workers who had a job, business or farm, but were not at work.
Family reasons for not actively looking for work
Includes ill health of a family member, caring for children and other family considerations.
Full-time or part-time preference
A person's perception of whether they would prefer to work full-time or part-time when/if they go to work, regardless of whether they are able to start work.
Full-time status in last job
Worked 35 or more hours a week in last job.
People waiting to start, within four weeks of the end of the reference week, a new job that they have already obtained (and could have started in the reference week if the job had been available then). Under International Labour Organisation (ILO) guidelines these persons do not have to be actively looking for work to be classified as unemployed.
Had a job to go to
Includes people who had a job but, up to the end of the reference week, had been away from work without pay for four weeks or longer and had not been actively looking for work.
Intention to enter the labour force in the next 12 months
A person's intention to work or look for work in the 12 months following the interview.
Any employment, full-time or part-time, lasting two weeks or more.
People who voluntarily ceased their last job.
People who involuntarily ceased their last job.
The civilian population can be split into two mutually exclusive groups: the labour force (employed and unemployed people) and persons not in the labour force.
Main activity when not in the labour force
The main activity of people who are not in the labour force since they last worked or looked for work (or in the last year if they haven't worked in that time).
Marginal attachment to the labour force
People who were not in the labour force in the reference week, wanted to work and:
The criteria for determining those in the labour force are based on activity (i.e. working or looking for work) and availability to start work during the reference week. The criteria associated with marginal attachment to the labour force, in particular the concepts of wanting to work and reasons for not actively looking for work, are more subjective. Hence, the measurement against these criteria is affected by the respondent’s own interpretation of the concepts used. An individual respondent’s interpretation may be affected by their work aspirations, as well as family, economic and other commitments.
- were actively looking for work but did not meet the availability criteria to be classified as unemployed; or
- were not actively looking for work but were available to start work within four weeks (footnote 1) .
Main English-speaking countries
The list of main English-speaking countries provided here in this publication is not an attempt to classify countries on the basis of whether or not English is the predominant or official language of each country. It is a list of the main countries from which Australia receives, or has received, significant numbers of overseas settlers who are likely to speak English. The list therefore includes South Africa. Although large numbers of South Africans do not speak English as their first language, those who migrate to Australia are likely to speak English. The list does not include country units which are statistically insignificant in the Australian context, although they are English speaking countries.
The set of main English-speaking countries used by the ABS consists of:
Occupation in last job
All occurrences of occupation in this publication refer to Major Group as defined by ANZSCO-Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, First Edition, 2006 (cat. no. 1220.0). Includes persons who have had a job less than 20 years ago only. See paragraphs 19 to 21 of the Explanatory Notes for more information.
- Ireland, Republic of
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
- Northern Ireland
- United States of America.
Part-time status in last job
Worked less than 35 hours a week in last job.
Permanently not intending to work
People who said that they were permanently not intending to work.
Personal reasons for not actively looking for work
Includes own ill health or physical disability, pregnancy, attending an educational institution, had no need to work, welfare payments or pension may be affected, moved house or on holidays.
Persons in the labour force
People who were classified as being in the labour force, that is, either employed or unemployed.
Persons not in the labour force
People who were not in the categories 'employed' or 'unemployed' as defined.
Persons not in the labour force because they were caring for children
People who wanted to work and:
The week preceding the week in which the interview was conducted.
- were not actively looking for work because they were caring for children, but were available to start work within four weeks; or
- were not actively looking for work and reported that they were not available to start work within four weeks because they were caring for children.
Status in employment in last job
People who were employed classified by whether they were employees, employers, own account workers or contributing family workers in their last job.
Time since last job
The elapsed time since ceasing last job.
People aged 15 years and over who were not employed during the reference week, and:
Wanted to work
People who were not classified as employed or unemployed and who answered ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’ when asked if they would like a job.
See 'Available to start work within four weeks' in Glossary. <back
- had actively looked for full-time or part-time work at any time in the four weeks up to the end of the reference week and were available for work in the reference week; or
- were waiting to start a new job within four weeks from the end of the reference week and could have started in the reference week if the job had been available then.
This page last updated 20 March 2008