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6222.0 - Job Search Experience, Australia, Jul 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/12/2005   
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NOTES


ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION

This publication presents information about the experiences of unemployed people in seeking work, in terms of the steps they have taken to find work and the difficulties they have encountered in finding work. It also presents information about employed people who started their current job in the previous 12 months. For this group, data on the steps taken to attain work and current job details are provided.


Demographic information is provided about both of these groups.


The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Job Search Experience Survey, conducted throughout Australia in July 2005 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS).



ABOUT THIS SURVEY

From July 2002, this survey combined the previously conducted annual Job Search Experience of Unemployed Persons Survey and the two-yearly Successful and Unsuccessful Job Search Experience Survey.


Data from the survey relate to people who were unemployed in July 2005, and people employed in July 2005 who started their current job in the previous 12 months.



ROUNDING

As estimates have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.



INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Labour Market Section on Canberra (02) 6252 7206.



SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


OVERVIEW

In July 2005, there were 484,800 unemployed people, an 8% decrease since July 2004 and a 30% decrease since July 1998. The median duration of unemployment has dropped from 26 weeks in July 1998, to 16 weeks in July 2004 and to 12 weeks in July 2005. In July 2005, almost two-thirds (61%) of unemployed people reported they were without a non-school qualification, while 10% reported a Bachelor Degree or above as their highest level of non-school qualification.


There were 1,469,900 employed people who started their current job in the 12 months prior to July 2005. Two-thirds (66%) of these were working full time. Of those employed people who started their current job in the previous year, 56% reported they were without a non-school qualification and 21% reported a Bachelor Degree or above as their highest level of non-school qualification.



UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE

Job search experience

The most commonly reported steps taken to find work by unemployed people in July 2005 were 'wrote, phoned or applied in person to an employer for work' (87%) and 'looked at advertisements for jobs in a newspaper' (85%). Other steps included 'answered an advertisement for a job in a newspaper' (63%), and 'looked at advertisements on the internet' (56%). Around 54% of unemployed people stated they had 'registered with Centrelink as a jobseeker', while 49% stated they had 'registered with a Job Network employment agency'.


In July 2005, 10% of unemployed people reported their main difficulty in finding work as 'insufficient work experience' followed by 'too many applicants for available jobs', 'lacked necessary skills or education' and 'considered too old by employers' (9.5% each). Other characteristics of unemployed people in July 2005 include:

  • 367,100 or 76% had not started any job in the previous 12 months, while 42,600 (9%) had started two jobs or more
  • 79% did not receive any offers of employment during their current period of unemployment
  • 87,200 or 18% spent the whole of the last year looking for work. Around 20% of those looking for full-time work and 12% of those looking for part-time work spent the whole year looking for work
  • 58% had last held a job for two weeks or more, less than two years ago; while 19% had never worked in a job for two weeks or more.

Duration of unemployment

Just under one-fifth (18%) of unemployed people in July 2005 were long-term unemployed, that is, they had been unemployed for 12 months or more. Of the unemployed people who were without non-school qualifications, 12% had been unemployed for two years or more compared to 11% of those with non-school qualifications.


Older unemployed

Approximately one-fifth (21%) of unemployed people were aged 45 years and over. Over three-quarters (79%) of unemployed people aged 45 years and over were seeking full-time work.


Nearly half (49%) of unemployed people aged 55 years and over reported their main difficulty in finding work was 'considered too old by employers'. This was also reported as the main difficulty in finding work by 26% of unemployed people aged 45-54 years.


The most common reason given by the long-term unemployed was also 'considered too old by employers' (24%). The median duration of unemployment for those who reported they were 'considered too old by employers' was 39 weeks compared to 12 weeks for all unemployed people.


Young unemployed

Over one-third (40%) of unemployed people were aged 15-24 years. Just under half (49%) of unemployed people aged 15-19 years and 76% of those aged 20-24 years were seeking full-time work.


Of unemployed people aged 15-19 years, 17% reported their main difficulty in finding work was 'insufficient work experience'. Around 16% of unemployed people aged 20-24 years also reported this as their main difficulty.



EMPLOYED PEOPLE WHO STARTED THEIR CURRENT JOB IN THE PREVIOUS 12 MONTHS

Of those employed people who started their current job in the 12 months to July 2005, 41% were out of work prior to starting that job, 47% changed employer to start that job and 12% were employed in their own business. Two-thirds (66%) of employed people, who started their current job in the previous 12 months, were full-time workers in July 2005.


Steps taken to attain a job

Of those who were out of work prior to starting their current job, 66% 'wrote, phoned or applied in person to an employer for work'. Over half (57%) of employed people who changed employer also took this step to attain a job. The most common among other steps taken to attain a job were 'looked at advertisements for jobs in a newspaper' (50% of people out of work prior to starting a job and 39% of people who changed employer to start a job), 'looked at advertisements for jobs on the internet' (40% and 33% respectively), and 'answered an advertisement for a job in a newspaper' (38% and 29% respectively).


Duration of looking for work

Over half (53%) of employed people who started their current job in the previous 12 months looked for work for less than one year before being offered that job. A further 5% looked for one year or more, while 42% of people did not look for work at all. The median duration of looking for work before being offered their current job was 6 weeks.


Characteristics of current job

The majority (74%) of employed people who started their current job in the previous 12 months started one job only, and most (89%) had worked before. Of the 499,800 part-time employed people who started their current job in the previous 12 months, 29% were aged 15-19 years.


Of the 533,800 employed people who started their current job in the previous 12 months and usually work part-time hours, over one-third (36%) would prefer to work more hours.


The most common occupation groups of employed people who started their current job in the previous 12 months were Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers (20%) and Professionals (17%). Elementary clerical, sales and service workers was the most common occupation group of employed people aged 15-19 years who started their job in the previous 12 months (35%).


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