Actively looking for work
Persons who were taking active steps to find work. Active steps comprise:
Available to start work within four weeks
- 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.
Persons who were available to start work within four weeks or, for persons with children aged 12 years or under, could start work within four weeks if suitable child care was available.
Did not want to work
Persons who were not classified as employed or unemployed who:
- answered 'no' when asked if they would like a job; or
- were aged 65 years or over and said that they were 'permanently not intending to work'.
Persons 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:
- considered to be too young/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 available at all.
Persons who, during the reference week:
- 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.
Two or more persons, 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.
Family reasons for not actively looking for work
Includes ill health of a family member, child care and other family considerations.
Work involving 35 or more hours a week.
Had a job to go to
Includes persons 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.
Any employment, full-time or part-time, lasting two weeks or more.
Persons who voluntarily ceased their last job.
Persons who involuntarily ceased their last job.
The civilian population can be split into two mutually exclusive groups: the labour force (employed and unemployed persons) and persons not in the labour force.
Main English-speaking countries
Comprises the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, South Africa, the United States of America and New Zealand.
Marginal attachment to the labour force
Persons 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).
Occupation of last job
All occurrences of occupation in this publication refer to Major Group as defined by ASCO - Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, Second Edition (cat. no. 1220.0).
Work involving less than 35 hours a week.
Permanently not intending to work
Persons 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, to give others a chance, welfare payments or pension may be affected, moved house or on holidays.
Persons in the labour force
Persons who were classified as being in the labour force, that is, either employed or unemployed.
Persons not in the labour force
Persons who were not in the categories 'employed' or 'unemployed' as defined.
Persons not in the labour force for child care reasons
Persons who wanted to work and:
- were not actively looking for work due to child care reasons, 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 for child care reasons.
The week preceding the week in which the interview was conducted.
Relationship in household
The relationship of persons who live in the same household.
Time since last job
The elapsed time since ceasing last job.
Persons aged 15 years and over who were not employed during the reference week, and:
Wanted to work
- 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.
Persons who were not classified as employed or unemployed and who answered ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’ when asked if they would like a job.
1 See 'Available to start work within four weeks' in Glossary. <Back
This page last updated 20 June 2006