ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
Underemployed workers are defined as part-time workers who want, and are available for, more hours of work than they currently have, and full-time workers who worked part-time hours during the reference week for economic reasons. The number of underemployed workers are an important component of underutilised labour resources in the economy, along with the number of unemployed and some people with marginal attachment to the labour force.
This publication presents information about the characteristics of underemployed workers aged 15 years and over. For time series information on the number of underemployed workers, users are advised to use the quarterly Labour Force Survey estimates. Trend and seasonally adjusted estimates are released quarterly in Australian Labour Market Statistics (cat. no. 6105.0), tables 4.1 to 4.4.
The statistics in this publication were compiled from the Underemployed Workers Survey conducted throughout Australia in September 2008 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). A range of information is presented on underemployed workers including the number of hours usually worked, number of preferred hours, steps taken to find work with more hours and difficulties finding work with more hours.
CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE
The September 2008 Underemployed Workers Survey included changes to the questions used in previous surveys to identify part-time workers who preferred to work more hours and their availability to start work with more hours. This was to align the survey questions with the questions asked in the Labour Force Survey each quarter.
The changes to the questions have resulted in a break in series for the Underemployed Workers Survey and users need to exercise caution when comparing the characteristics of underemployed workers in this publication with previous issues. For further information see paragraphs 16 to 17 of the Explanatory Notes. Note that the underlying concept of underemployment has not changed.
NOTES ABOUT THE ESTIMATES
Sample reductions in the Labour Force Survey, (see Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design, Nov 2007 (Second edition) (cat. no. 6269.0)), resulted in the Underemployed Workers Survey sample being approximately one-third smaller than the sample size in September 2007.
As estimates have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.
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.