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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
The difficulties in finding work for unemployed people varied with whether they were men or women, what age they were, how long they have been unemployed and what type of work they were looking for (full-time or part-time).
The most common main difficulty in finding work reported by unemployed men was 'own ill health or disability' (13% compared to 7% of unemployed women). The next most common difficulties reported by men were 'too far to travel/transport problems' (10%), 'lacked necessary skills or education' and 'no vacancies in line of work' (each 9%). In comparison, for women the most common main difficulty was 'unsuitable hours' (13% compared to around 5% of unemployed men). This was followed by 'insufficient work experience' and 'lacked necessary skills or education' (both 10%).
The most frequently reported main difficulty for people looking for full-time work was 'lacked necessary skills or education' (11%), while for people looking for part-time work it was 'unsuitable hours' (20%).
For long-term unemployed people, the main difficulty reported was 'own ill-health or disability' (32%) followed by 'too far to travel/transport problems' and 'lacked necessary skills or education' (each 13%). However, short-term unemployed people most commonly reported 'unsuitable hours' or 'insufficient work experience' (each 10%) as their main difficulty.
There were 54,000 unemployed people who reported that they had 'no difficulties at all' in finding work. Of those reporting no difficulties, 62% had been unemployed for less than four weeks.
All steps taken to find work
The most common steps taken to find work reported by unemployed people in July 2008 were 'wrote, phoned or applied in person to an employer for work' (86%) and 'looked at advertisements for jobs in a newspaper' (78%). Other steps commonly taken to find work included 'looked at advertisements on the Internet' (67%) and 'answered an advertisement for a job in a newspaper' (54%).
Larger proportions of long-term unemployed people used Centrelink or a Job Network employment agency compared to short-term unemployed people.
UNEMPLOYED PERSONS, Selected steps taken to find work (a) - By duration of current period of unemployment
The largest percentage point difference in the steps taken to find work for long-term unemployed people compared to the short-term unemployed were:
The pattern of steps taken to find work also varied depending on whether job-seekers were looking for full-time or part-time work.
The largest percentage point differences between those looking for full-time work and those looking for part-time work were in the steps involving Centrelink or the Job Network employment agencies. For example:
Overall, higher proportions of unemployed people who had worked before also used Centrelink and the Job Network employment agencies to find work compared to those who had not worked before. They were also more inclined to answer an advertisement for a job in a newspaper (57% compared to 43% of unemployed people who had never worked before).
Preferred number of hours
Generally, unemployed men preferred to work more hours than unemployed women. In July 2008, 71% of unemployed men reported that they preferred to work 35 hours or more, compared to 38% of unemployed women. A higher proportion of unemployed men aged 25-34 years preferred 35 hours or more of work (81%) compared to 56% of those aged 15-19 years. In contrast, 49% of unemployed women aged 25-34 years and 34% of women aged 15-19 years preferred to work 35 hours or more.
Women who had never worked before preferred to work less than 35 hours (66% compared to 45% of men), whereas 75% of men who had worked before preferred to work 35 hours or more (compared to 40% of women who had worked previously).
In July 2008, 24% (99,600) of unemployed people were aged 45 years and over. Of these, there were 51% without a non-school qualification while 25% reported that they had a Diploma or above. The most common main difficulty in finding work reported by this age group was 'considered too old by employers' (16%). There were 76,400 older unemployed people who were unemployed for less than one year. The majority (60%) preferred to work 35 hours or more a week.
The most common steps taken to find work reported by the older unemployed were 'wrote, phoned or applied in person to an employer for work' (88%) and 'looked at advertisements for a job in the newspaper' (86%).
In July 2008, 37% (158,100) of unemployed people were aged 15-24 years. Of these, there were 82% without a non-school qualification. Of those without a non-school qualification, the majority (117,800 or 91%) had been unemployed for less than one year, and of these 38,700 (33%) had been unemployed for less than four weeks.
The main difficulty in finding work reported by unemployed people aged 15-24 years was 'insufficient work experience' (14%). Overall, 14% of the young unemployed reported no difficulties at all, as did almost one third (32%) of this age group who had been unemployed for less than four weeks.
The most common steps taken to find work reported by the younger unemployed were 'wrote, phoned or applied in person to an employer for work' (87%) and 'looked at advertisements for a job in the newspaper' (71%).
ALL JOB STARTERS
Characteristics of current job
There were 1.5 million job starters (employed people who started their current job in the previous 12 months) at July 2008, and around 91% of these were employees and 9% were owner managers and contributing family workers. Almost one-third of job starters (33% or 511,600) usually worked part-time hours and 32% of these preferred to work more hours.
The composition of job starter occupations was:
Over one-third (36%) of people who were classified as Sales workers, were aged 15-19, while a large proportion of Professionals (35%) were aged 25-34 years.
More than three-fifths of job starters were aged less than 35 years (33% were aged 15-24 years and 27% were aged 25-34 years). This partly reflects the transition of younger people from education into work and may also reflect the greater job mobility of younger people. In contrast, 19% were aged 45 years or older (13% were aged 45-54 years and 6% were aged 55 years and over).
Duration of looking for work
Most new job starters had either not been looking for work at all prior to commencing their new job (40%) or had been looking for less than 8 weeks (38%). Nearly one-fifth (19%) had been looking for work for greater than 8 weeks but less than one year before commencing their current job. However, 3% of all job starters had been looking for work for one year and over, of whom those aged 35-44 years made up the largest proportion (22%).
EMPLOYEE (EXCLUDING OMIES) JOB STARTERS
In July 2008 there were an estimated 1.4 million job starters who were employees (excluding OMIEs). For 10% of these, it was the first job they ever had. Close to two-thirds of first job holders (62%) were aged 15-19 years.
Of the 1.3 million employee (excluding OMIEs) job starters who had worked before, 65% had changed employer to start their current job. The remaining 35% (440,100) were out of work prior to starting their current job and these were largely younger people, with 31% aged 15-24 years and 27% aged 25-34 years.
Just over two-fifths (41%) of employee (excluding OMIEs) job starters did not have paid leave entitlements (a proxy for casual 'employment') in their current job. Almost half (46%) of these were aged 15-24 years. Over two-thirds (68%) of job starters aged 15-19 years did not have paid leave entitlements. In contrast the reverse was true for job starters in other age groups. For example 31% of job starters aged 25-34 years did not have paid leave entitlements.
Almost three quarters (980,700 or 70%) of employee (excluding OMIEs) job starters reported that they had prior knowledge that work was available before attaining the job. Over one-third (36%) of these were aged 15-24 years and 17% were aged 45 years and over. Overall, knowledge about the availability of work was largely sourced from friends, relatives or company contacts (45%) and advertisements on the Internet (20%).
All steps taken to attain a job
The most commonly reported step to attain a job reported by employee (excluding OMIEs) job starters was 'wrote, phoned or applied in person to an employer for work' (57%). This proportion was larger (65%) for people who were out of work prior to starting their job.
A higher proportion of first job holders reported that they 'contacted friends or relatives' (33%) compared to people who had worked before (26%). However, a higher proportion of those who had worked before reported they:
EMPLOYEE (EXCLUDING OMIES) JOB STARTERS, Selected steps to attain a job - By whether had a non-school qualification
Some 801,400 (57%) of employee (excluding OMIEs) job starters had a non-school qualification. Of the steps taken to attain a job, there were some differences between those with a non-school qualification and those without a non-school qualification. These differences include:
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