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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 'too many applicants for available jobs' (14%). The next most common difficulties reported by men were 'no vacancies in line of work' (13%) and 'no vacancies at all' (10%). In comparison, for women the most common main difficulty was 'too many applicants for available jobs' (17%). This was followed by 'insufficient work experience' (10%).
For long-term unemployed people, the main difficulty reported was 'own ill-health or disability' (16%) followed by 'too many applicants for available jobs' and 'insufficient work experience' (both 12%). However, people who had been unemployed for less than 1 year most commonly reported 'too many applicants for available jobs' (15%) as their main difficulty.
There were 46,800 unemployed people who reported that they had 'no difficulties at all' in finding work. Of those reporting no difficulties, 68% had been unemployed for less than eight weeks.
All steps taken to find work
The most common steps taken to find work reported by unemployed people in July 2009 were 'wrote, phoned or applied in person to an employer for work' (83%) and 'looked at advertisements for jobs in a newspaper' (82%). Other steps commonly taken to find work included 'looked at advertisements on the Internet' (75%) and 'answered an advertisement for a job on the Internet' (59%).
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 those who had been unemployed for less than 1 year 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:
Older and younger unemployed
In July 2009, 25% (147,000) of unemployed people were aged 45 years and over compared to 36% (215,000) of unemployed people aged 15-24 years. The most common steps taken to find work reported by the older unemployed (aged 45 years and over) were 'looked at advertisements for a job in the newspaper' (85%) and 'wrote, phoned or applied in person to an employer for work' (84%). In contrast, the most common steps taken to find work reported by the younger unemployed (aged 15-24 years) were 'wrote, phoned or applied in person to an employer for work' (81%) and 'looked at advertisements for a job on the Internet' (80%).
Preferred number of hours
Generally, unemployed men preferred to work more hours than unemployed women. In July 2009, 72% of unemployed men reported that they preferred to work 35 hours or more, compared to 46% of unemployed women.
Women who had never worked before preferred to work less than 35 hours (67% compared to 54% of men), whereas 77% of men who had worked before preferred to work 35 hours or more (compared to 49% of women who had worked previously).
ALL JOB STARTERS
Characteristics of current job
There were 1.3 million job starters (employed people who started their current job in the previous 12 months) at July 2009, and around 92% of these were employees and 7% were own account workers. More than one-third of job starters (38% or 507,400) usually worked part-time hours and 40% of these preferred to work more hours.
Nearly one-third (32%) of job starters who were classified as Sales workers, were aged 15-19, while a large proportion of Professionals (38%) were aged 25-34 years.
Approximately 60% of job starters were aged 15-34 years. Of these, almost half (47%) were aged 25-34 years, a further 28% were aged 20-24 years and the remaining 24% were aged 15-19 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, 21% were aged 45 years or older (14% were aged 45-54 years and 7% 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 (36%) or had been looking for less than 8 weeks (34%). More than a quarter (26%) had been looking for work for greater than 8 weeks but less than one year before commencing their current job. However, 4% of all job starters had been looking for work for one year or more.
EMPLOYEE (EXCLUDING OMIES) JOB STARTERS
In July 2009 there were an estimated 1.2 million job starters who were employees (excluding OMIEs). For 9% 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 1.1 million employees (excluding OMIEs) who started their current job in the previous 12 months and had worked before, 57% (622,200) had changed employer to start their current job. The remaining 43% (463,800) were out of work prior to starting their current job.
More than two-fifths (43%) of employees (excluding OMIEs) who started their current job in the previous 12 months did not have paid leave entitlements in their current job. Almost half (44%) 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 36% of job starters aged 25-34 years did not have paid leave entitlements, and 34% of those aged 45-54 years did not have paid leave entitlements.
Over two-thirds (812,100 or 68%) of employee (excluding OMIEs) job starters reported that they had prior knowledge that work was available before attaining the job. One-third (33%) of these were aged 15-24 years and 19% were aged 45 years and over.
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' (60%). This proportion was larger (66%) 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' (37%) compared to people who had worked before (30%). However, a higher proportion of those who had worked before reported they:
EMPLOYEE (EXCLUDING OMIES) JOB STARTERS, Selected steps taken to attain a job (a) - Whether had a non-school qualification
Some 690,100 (58%) 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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