Australian Bureau of Statistics
6265.0 - Underemployed Workers, Australia, Sep 2010 Quality Declaration
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/03/2011
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Of the 807,300 underemployed workers:
PART-TIME WORKERS WHO WOULD PREFER MORE HOURS
In September 2010, there were 3.3 million part-time workers (2.3 million women and 983,200 men). Of all part-time workers, 817,100 (25%) would prefer to work more hours, compared to 823,800 (26%) in September 2009.
Of the 817,100 part-time workers who would prefer more hours:
UNDEREMPLOYED PART-TIME WORKERS
In September 2010, there were 733,900 underemployed part-time workers. These people comprise 91% of all underemployed workers.
Of the underemployed part-time workers:
Part-time workers aged 20-24 had the highest incidence of underemployment (29%) followed by those aged 15-19 (26%). The proportion of part-time workers who were underemployed generally decreased with age.
While there were more women who were underemployed part-time workers than men (445,900 compared with 288,000), the incidence of underemployment for part-time workers was higher for men (29%) than women (19%). This was the case in all age groups, with the largest percentage point difference being for those aged 25-34 years (37% for men and 20% for women) and 35-44 years (34% for men and 18% for women).
Underemployed part-time men were more likely to report that they would move intrastate if offered a suitable job (31%) than women (22%), whereas over one fifth (22%) of underemployed part-time men and 16% of women reported that they would move interstate if offered a suitable job.
There was a higher proportion of people who reported uncertainty about moving intrastate than interstate if offered a suitable job in September 2010 (12% of underemployed part-time workers might move or did not know if they would move intrastate, compared with 10% for interstate).
Duration of current period of insufficient work
Older people generally had a longer duration of underemployment than younger people. For example, one quarter of 15-19 year old underemployed part-time workers had experienced insufficient work for one year or more. In contrast, around half of those aged 55 years and over (52%) and those aged 45-54 years (49%), had insufficient work for one year or more.
The median duration of the current period of insufficient work for underemployed part-time workers was 30 weeks. For those aged 45-54 years and 55 years and over, the median duration was 50 weeks and 52 weeks respectively.
Over half (55%) of underemployed part-time workers would prefer to work a total of 35 hours or more per week. For those aged 25-34 years, 71% preferred to work a total of 35 hours or more per week, while for those aged 15-19 years, over half (52%) preferred to work a total of less than 30 hours per week.
Preferred number of extra hours
For underemployed part-time workers, the preferred number of extra hours varied with the number of hours they usually worked. For example, two thirds (or 66%) of those who usually worked 1-5 hours a week preferred 10 or more extra hours per week, and of those who worked 30-34 hours a week, two thirds (or 66%) preferred to work less than 10 extra hours per week.
The mean preferred number of extra hours per week for underemployed part-time workers was 14.0 hours. The mean preferred number of extra hours was lowest for people aged 15-19 years (12.6 hours), and highest for those aged 25-34 years (15.7 hours). On average, men preferred to work an extra 15.8 hours per week, compared with women who preferred to work an extra 12.9 hours per week.
Looking for work with more hours
Of the 733,900 underemployed part-time workers, around half (366,300) had looked for work with more hours at some time during the four weeks prior to the survey. Of the 445,900 underemployed part-time women, almost half (47%) were looking for work with more hours. By comparison, of the 288,000 underemployed part-time men, 54% were looking for work with more hours.
The most common step taken to find work with more hours, by underemployed part-time workers who had looked for work, was 'asked current employer for more work' (62%), followed by 'contacted prospective employers' (53%) and 'searched Internet sites' (51%).
The main difficulty in finding work with more hours, most commonly reported by underemployed part-time workers who had looked for work, was 'no vacancies in line of work' (20%), followed by 'unsuitable hours' (10%). The largest percentage point difference between men and women was for 'unsuitable hours' (8% of men and 12% of women).
Approximately 8% of underemployed part-time workers who had looked for work with more hours reported that they had 'no difficulties' in finding work with more hours.
UNDEREMPLOYED FULL-TIME WORKERS
There were 8.1 million full-time workers in September 2010, accounting for 71% of all employed people. Of those who usually worked full-time, 1.2 million people (15%) worked less than 35 hours in the reference week, with 73,400 (6%) of these people working less hours due to economic reasons.
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This page last updated 1 March 2012