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6224.0 - Labour Force Status and other Characteristics of Families, Australia, Jun 2000  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/11/2000   
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Note: The Labour Force Survey product set is changing in 2003.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

OVERVIEW

The data in this publication are based on responses from people included in the June 2000 Labour Force Survey for whom family status could be derived (see paragraphs 9 and 10 of the Explanatory Notes for more details).

The data cover 14,309,200 people or 94% of the civilian population aged 15 and over. Of these people, 11,780,300 (82%) were members of 5,116,300 families. Of the remaining 2,528,800 people, i.e. those who were not members of a family, 66% lived alone.

As shown in the diagram below, the large majority of families were couple families, slightly less than half of which had dependants present.

One parent families were the next largest group, with more than two thirds having dependants present. Of the 770,300 one parent families, 83% had a female parent.

Of all families, 77% had one or more family members aged 15 and over employed, and 8.0% had one or more members unemployed. Approximately 53% of families had one or more persons aged 15 and over who were not in the labour force, and of these 38% had all members not in the labour force.

AUSTRALIAN FAMILIES



COUPLE FAMILIES

In June 2000, 77% of couple families had at least one partner employed. This proportion has risen from 75% in June 1993. The proportion in June 1990 was 78%.

The proportion of couple families with both partners employed has risen from 49% in June 1990 to 51% in June 2000. The percentage of couple families where one partner was employed and the other was not in the labour force has decreased from 27% in June 1990 to 23% in June 2000.

COUPLE FAMILIES: EMPLOYMENT STATUS OF PARTNER/S AND WHETHER DEPENDANTS PRESENT


COUPLE FAMILIES WITH DEPENDANTS PRESENT

The proportion of couple families with dependants present in which one or both partners were employed was 93% in June 2000, the same as June 1990.

The husband was employed in 89% of all couple families with dependants. This proportion has been steady in recent years. In 95% of these cases, the husband was employed full time.

The wife was employed in 61% of couple families with dependants. The proportion where the wife was employed full time has risen from 20% in the early 1980s to 26% in June 2000. The percentage of wives employed part time was 35% in June 2000. This percentage has been relatively steady at around 34% between June 1995 and June 1999, after rising slowly from around 25% in the early 1980’s.

The proportion of wives in full-time employment rose as the age of the youngest dependant increased, as shown in the following graph.

COUPLE FAMILIES: FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT STATUS OF PARENT BY AGE OF YOUNGEST DEPENDANT


In 2.9% of couple families with dependants present (57,900 families) the husband was unemployed and the wife was either unemployed or not in the labour force. In 41% of these families, the husband had been unemployed for 52 weeks or more. This proportion has fallen from 45% in June 1999.

The percentage of couple families with dependants present with one or both parents unemployed was 6.5% in June 2000. This proportion is unchanged from June 1999, but has fallen 1.2 percentage points since June 1998. The proportion of these families with one or both partners unemployed generally reflects changes in the overall level of unemployment.

The number of children aged 0-14 in couple families where neither parent was employed was 265,700 in June 2000.


COUPLE FAMILIES WITHOUT DEPENDANTS PRESENT

In June 2000, 53% of couple families had no dependants present. The proportion has been consistently greater than 50% since June 1994.

COUPLE FAMILIES


The husband and wife were both aged 45 years or over in 72% of couple families without dependants present in June 2000, a decrease from 73% in 1999. Of these, 49% were families where both partners were not in the labour force.

At least one partner was employed in 63% of couple families without dependants present and 44% had both partners employed. The husband was employed full time in 51% of couple families without dependants and the wife was employed full time in 32%.

In these families, the proportion in which wives were employed part time has risen from 14% in June 1993 to 17% in June 2000, although it has remained steady over the last 2 years.

Over time, the proportion where at least one partner was unemployed broadly reflects movements in the overall level of unemployment. In June 2000, this proportion was 3.3% for these families (compared with 6.5% for couple families with dependants present).

ONE PARENT FAMILIES

In June 2000, there were 770,300 one parent families, making up 15% of all families. This proportion has increased from 13% in June 1994.

ONE PARENT FAMILIES: EMPLOYMENT STATUS OF PARENT BY AGE OF YOUNGEST DEPENDANT




The percentage of one parent families where the parent was not in the labour force decreased to 46% in June 2000 from 51% in June 1994.

The parent was unemployed in 6.3% (48,500) of one parent families. In 13,900 or 29% of these families, the parent had been unemployed for 52 weeks or more.


ONE PARENT FAMILIES WITH DEPENDANTS PRESENT

In June 2000, there were 549,100 one parent families with dependants present, 71% of all one parent families. Of these, 86% had a female parent. In 58% of one parent families with dependants the youngest child was aged 0-9 years.

The parent was employed in 51% of one parent families with dependants present in June 2000, an increase from 46% in June 1998. Male parents were employed in 64% of these families, compared with 49% of those with a female parent. The proportion with the parent employed generally increased as the age of the youngest dependant increased, with 70% of one parent families whose youngest dependant was aged 15-24 years having an employed parent, compared to 30% whose youngest dependant was aged 0-4.

The percentage of one parent families with dependants present where the parent was unemployed has decreased to 7.5% in June 2000. The proportion peaked at 9.5% in June 1993 before falling to 8.6% and remained relatively steady for the next three years. It rose to 9.4% in June 1998 before falling again.
ONE PARENT FAMILIES WITH DEPENDANTS: PARENT UNEMPLOYED




The number of children aged 0-14 in one parent families where the parent was not employed fell by 9% over the last year, to 411,100 in June 2000. The level, however, remains 17% higher than in June 1993.


PERSONS WHO WERE NOT MEMBERS OF A FAMILY

Persons living alone accounted for 12% (1,672,200) of the population where relationship in household was determined in June 2000. Some characteristics of these persons were:
  • Approximately 54% were female, two thirds of whom were aged 55 and over.
  • Of the males living alone, 38% were aged 25-44, and 39% were aged 55 and over.
  • 44% were employed. Some 56% of males living alone were employed and of females living alone, 33% were employed.
  • 52% were not in the labour force, of whom 67% were female.

Selected characteristics of the 856,600 persons who were not members of a family and were not living alone (e.g. those in group houses) in June 2000 were:
  • Some 57% were males.
  • Compared with lone persons, those not living alone had a much younger age profile, with 74% aged younger than 35 (only 19% of lone persons were under 35). Males and females not living alone had similar age distributions.
  • A large proportion (76%) were employed, which is higher than the general population.
  • 18% were not in the labour force.

LABOUR FORCE STATUS OF NON-FAMILY MEMBERS





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