Close to a third (32%) of people participating in the labour force were mature age (those aged 45-64 years), up from 24% in 1983.
There were 3.2 million mature age workers, of which, just over a quarter (26%) were employed part-time, compared with 28% of all employed people. Some 11% of male mature age workers were employed part-time compared with 45% of their female counterparts.
The Education industry employed the highest proportion of mature age workers, with 47% employed in this industry aged 45-64 years. Other industries with higher proportions of mature age workers include Agriculture, forestry and fishing (44%) and Health and community services (42%).
The unemployment rate for 45-64 year olds was 3.5% representing 114,000 people in this age group who were looking and available to work, compared with an overall unemployment rate of 5.4%.
Among unemployed 45-64 year olds, the proportion who were long-term unemployed (i.e. had been unemployed for 52 weeks or more), was nearly twice as high (40%) as the proportion for all unemployed people (23%).
For further details, refer to the article 'Mature age workers' included in Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0), released on 15 June 2004.
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