Australian Bureau of Statistics

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6222.0 - Job Search Experience, Australia, Jul 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/04/2003   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

OVERVIEW

In July 2002, there were 554,800 unemployed persons, a 9% decrease since July 2001. Three in four (76%) unemployed persons were looking for full-time work. This is the same proportion as recorded in July 2000 and July 2001. Most males (86%) were seeking full-time work, as were the majority of females (62%). In July 2002, almost three-quarters (71%) of unemployed persons reported their level of highest educational attainment as being Year 12 or below.

There were 1,638,700 employed persons who started their current job in the twelve months prior to July 2002. The majority (63%) of employed persons who started their current job in the previous twelve months are currently working full time. Of those employed persons who started their current job in the previous twelve months, 54% reported their level of highest educational attainment as being Year 12 or below.

UNEMPLOYED PERSONS

Job search experience

The most common active step taken to find work by unemployed persons was 'contacted prospective employers' (85%). Other active steps were 'answered a newspaper advertisement for a job' (68%), 'registered with Centrelink as a jobseeker' (62%) and 'registered with a Job Network employment agency' (60%).

Unemployed persons looking for full-time work were more likely to be registered with a Job Network employment agency than those looking for part-time work (70% and 27% respectively). Some 53% of unemployed females were registered with a Job Network employment agency, compared with 65% of males.

The most commonly reported main difficulties in finding work for unemployed persons were:

  • too many applicants for available jobs (15%)
  • considered too young or too old by employers (13%)
  • insufficient work experience (11%)
  • lacked necessary skills or education (11%).

Duration of unemployment

On average, males had been unemployed longer than females (56 weeks compared with 45 weeks). The mean duration of unemployment increased slightly from 50 weeks in July 2001 to 51 weeks in July 2002.

Some 145,800 persons were considered long-term unemployed in July 2002; that is, they had been unemployed for 12 months or longer. This represented 26% of all unemployed persons (an increase of 2 percentage points since July 2001). Of those long-term unemployed persons, the majority (84%) were seeking full-time work.

Being 'considered too young or too old by employers' was the main difficulty in finding work for one-fifth (20%) of long-term unemployed persons. Other commonly reported difficulties were 'lacked necessary skills or education' (16%), 'own ill health or disability' (12%), 'too many applicants for available jobs' (11%) and 'insufficient work experience' (11%).

Just under one-quarter (24%) of unemployed persons whose level of highest educational attainment was a Certificate or above were long-term unemployed, compared with 27% of persons whose level of highest educational attainment was Year 12 or below. Of unemployed persons whose level of highest educational attainment was Year 12 or below, 16% had been unemployed for two years or more.


DURATION OF CURRENT PERIOD OF UNEMPLOYMENT
Graph - DURATION OF CURRENT PERIOD OF UNEMPLOYMENT



Young unemployed

Over one-third (37%) of unemployed persons were aged 15-24 years. Half (50%) of unemployed persons aged 15-19 years and 80% of those aged 20-24 years were seeking full-time work. Almost three-quarters (73%) of young males aged 15-24 years were looking for full-time work compared with 54% of young females.

The main difficulty in finding work reported by unemployed persons aged 15-19 years, was 'too many applicants for available jobs' (18%). Unemployed persons aged 20-24 found 'insufficient work experience' (18%) the main difficulty in finding work. Other difficulties experienced were 'lacked necessary skills or education' (11% of those aged 15-19 years and 12% of those aged 20-24 years); and 'too far to travel/transport problems' (11% and 10%).


EMPLOYED PERSONS WHO STARTED IN THE PREVIOUS 12 MONTHS

Of those employed persons who started their current job in the previous twelve months, over half (52%) were out of work prior to starting that job, and a further 40% changed employer to start that job. The remainder were employed in their own business.
Steps taken to attain a job

Of those who were out of work prior to starting their current job, 58% 'wrote, phoned or applied in person to an employer for work'. Half (50%) of employed persons who changed employer took this step to attain a job. The other most common steps taken to attain a job were 'looked at advertisements for jobs in a newspaper' (45% of people out of work prior to starting a job and 35% of people who changed employer to start a job), 'answered an advertisement for a job in a newspaper' (35% and 28%) and 'contacted friends or relatives' (28% and 20%).


Duration of looking for work

Some 56% of employed persons who started their current job in the previous twelve months looked for work for less than one year before being offered that job. A further 6% looked for one year or more, while 38% of people didn't look for work at all. More than one-third (38%) of all employed persons who started their current job in the previous twelve months were aged 15-24 years.


Characteristics of current job

The majority (73%) of employed persons who started their current job in the previous twelve months started one job only, and most (90%) had worked before. Of those who usually work part-time hours, over one-third (39%) would prefer to work more hours. Persons aged 15-19 years made up the largest group (29%) who would prefer to work more hours.

Of those part-time employed persons who started their current job in the previous twelve months, almost one-third (30%) were aged 15-19 years.

FULL-TIME OR PART-TIME STATUS OF CURRENT JOB
Graph - FULL-TIME OR PART-TIME STAUS OF CURRENT JOB


The most common occupation groups of employed persons who started their current job in the previous twelve months were Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers (21%) and Professionals (16%). Elementary clerical, sales and service workers was the most common occupation of employed persons aged 15-19 years who started their job in the previous twelve months (37%).

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