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6220.0 - Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia, Sep 2010 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/03/2011   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


OVERVIEW

In September 2010, there were almost 5.9 million people aged 15 years and over who were not in the labour force. This represented 33% of the civilian population aged 15 years and over. Since September 2007, people aged 15 years and over who were not in the labour force comprised approximately one-third of the civilian population.

Of those people not in the labour force:

  • 61% were women;
  • 22% wanted to work (23% of women not in the labour force and 21% of men not in the labour force); and
  • 30% were aged 70 years and over and a further 17% were aged 15-24 years.
PERSONS NOT IN THE LABOUR FORCE, Proportion of the civilian population-Age group (years)-By sex
Graph: PERSONS NOT IN THE LABOUR FORCE, Proportion of the civilian population - Age group (years) - By sex


The proportion of men and women who were not in the labour force varied according to age. In the 15-19 year age group, where there are high levels of participation in education, 45% of men and 43% of women were not in the labour force. In each of the remaining age groups, there was a higher proportion of women than men not in the labour force. The proportion of men not in the labour force was lowest for those aged 35-44 years (7%) and 25-34 years (8%), and highest for those aged 70 years and over (91%). By comparison, the proportion of women not in the labour force was lowest for those aged 45-54 years (20%) and 35-44 years (24%) and highest for those aged 70 years and over (97%).


WITH MARGINAL ATTACHMENT TO THE LABOUR FORCE

In September 2010, there were 925,900 people with marginal attachment to the labour force, representing approximately 16% of people not in the labour force. Of those with marginal attachment to the labour force:
  • 576,400 (62%) were women;
  • 851,000 (92%) were not actively looking for work;
  • 292,500 (32%) were aged 15-24 years; and
  • 23% (208,600) had never held a job.

The largest group of men with marginal attachment to the labour force were aged 15-19 years (29%), followed by 20-24 years and 25-34 years (each 13%). By comparison, the largest group of women with marginal attachment to the labour force were aged 25-34 years (25%), followed by women aged 35-44 (23%) and 15-19 years (15%).


Main activity when not in the labour force
PERSONS WITH MARGINAL ATTACHMENT, Selected main activities when not in the labour force-By sex
Graph: PERSONS WITH MARGINAL ATTACHMENT, Selected main activities when not in the labour force - By sex


For people with marginal attachment to the labour force, reports of main activity when not in the labour force differed between men and women. The most commonly reported main activity for men was 'Attending an educational institution' (40% of men compared to 22% of women), whereas for women it was 'Home duties' (35% of women compared to 12% of men) and 'Caring for children' (26% of women compared to 3% of men). 


Time since last job

In September 2010, 77% (717,300) of people with marginal attachment to the labour force had worked before. Of these:
  • 30% worked less than 12 months ago;
  • 25% last worked between one and three years ago;
  • 12% (61,400 women and 22,300 men) last worked between 10 years and under 20 years ago; and
  • 5% (34,200) last worked more than 20 years ago.


Not actively looking for work - Intention to enter the labour force in the next 12 months

There were 851,000 people who were marginally attached to the labour force and not actively looking for work, of whom 613,800 (72%) indicated that they intended to, or might enter the labour force in the next 12 months. Of those who were marginally attached and intended to, or might enter the labour force in the next 12 months:
  • 380,300 (62%) were women, 74% of whom expressed an interest in working part-time;
  • 57,600 (9%) were discouraged job seekers; and
  • 403,500 (66%) reported that they would prefer to work part-time.
PERSONS NOT ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR WORK, Full-time or part-time preference-By sex
Graph: PERSONS NOT ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR WORK, Full-time or part-time preference - By sex


Of women with marginal attachment to the labour force who were not actively looking for work, 283,200 (53%) preferred part-time work, while 76,500 (14%) preferred full-time work. For men, 120,300 (38%) preferred part-time work and 98,300 (31%) preferred full-time work. Of those with marginal attachment, who were not actively looking for work, 24% reported that they were not intending to work.


Main reason for not actively looking for work - Discouraged Job Seekers

In September 2010, there were 102,100 discouraged job seekers aged 15 years and over. This has decreased from 111,800 in 2009. Of the 102,100 discouraged job seekers:
  • 54,800 (54%) were aged 55 years and over;
  • 62,300 were women;
  • 87,900 had worked before;
  • 16,600 had worked in the previous 12 months (17% of men and 16% of women);
  • 16,500 last worked between 1 year and under 3 years ago (20% of men and 14% of women);
  • 57,600 intended to or might enter the labour force in the next 12 months, of whom 60% preferred to work part-time; and 
  • 34,400 had looked for work in the previous 12 months (38% of men and 31% of women).
DISCOURAGED JOB SEEKERS, Selected main reasons for not actively looking for work-By sex
Graph: DISCOURAGED JOB SEEKERS, Selected main reasons for not actively looking for work - By sex


For discouraged job seekers, the most commonly reported main reason for not actively looking for work was 'Considered too old by employers' (38%). This was followed by 'Lacked necessary training, skills or experience' (18%), and 'No jobs in locality or line of work' (16%). The largest percentage point difference between men and women who were discouraged job seekers was for 'Considered too old by employers' (50% and 39% respectively).


Main reason for not actively looking for work - Other reasons

There were 748,900 people who were not discouraged job seekers, who wanted to work, but were not actively looking for work and were available to start work within four weeks. These people account for 81% of people with marginal attachment to the labour force.

PERSONS NOT ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR WORK–OTHER REASONS, Selected main other reasons for not actively looking for work-By sex
Graph: PERSONS NOT ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR WORK - OTHER REASONS, Selected main other reasons for not actively looking for work - by sex


Of the 748,900 people who were not discouraged job seekers, the most commonly reported main reason for not actively looking for work, by men, was 'Attending an educational institution' (37%), followed by 'Own long-term health condition or disability' (18%). By comparison, the most commonly reported main reason for women was 'Caring for children' (34%), followed by 'Attending an educational institution' (20%). 


WITHOUT MARGINAL ATTACHMENT TO THE LABOUR FORCE

In September 2010, there were almost 5 million people (2 million men and 3 million women) aged 15 years and over without marginal attachment to the labour force. Of those without marginal attachment:
  • 85% reported that they 'Did not want to work', or 'Did not know' if they wanted to work;
  • 7% 'Wanted to work but were not actively looking for work and were not available to start work within four weeks';
  • 8% were 'Permanently unable to work';
  • 47% were aged 65 years and over (52% of men and 44% of women);
  • 16% were aged 55-64 years old; and
  • 17% never had a job, of whom 60% were women.


Main activity when not in the labour force

For those without marginal attachment, the most commonly reported main activity when not in the labour force was 'Retired or voluntarily inactive' (33%) followed by 'Home duties' (21%). For men, the most common main activity when not in the labour force was 'Retired or voluntarily inactive' (42%). For woman without marginal attachment, the main activity when not in the labour force was 'Home duties' (31%) followed by 'Retired or voluntarily inactive' (27%). 


Time since last job

In September 2010, there were 4.1 million people without marginal attachment to the labour force who had previously had a job. Of these:
  • 56% last worked 10 or more years ago; and
  • 23% last worked 3 to under 10 years ago.


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