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6222.0 - Job Search Experience, Australia, Jul 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/01/2005   
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ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION

This publication presents information about unemployed persons' experiences in seeking work, in terms of the steps they have taken to find work and the difficulties they have encountered in finding work. Also presented is information about employed persons who started their current job in the previous 12 months. For this group, data on the steps taken to attain work and their current job details are provided.


Demographic information is provided about both of these groups.



JOB SEARCH EXPERIENCE SURVEY

The statistics in this publication are compiled from data collected in the Job Search Experience Survey, conducted throughout Australia in July 2004 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS).


From July 2002, this survey combined the previously conducted annual Job Search Experience of Unemployed Persons Survey and biennial Successful and Unsuccessful Job Search Experience Survey.


Data from the survey relate to persons who were unemployed in July 2004, and persons employed in July 2004 who started their current job in the previous 12 months.



NOTES ABOUT ESTIMATES

The data item 'Level of highest educational attainment' used throughout the 2003 publication has been replaced with the data item 'Level of highest non-school qualification' for the 2004 publication. For further information see Appendix 1.


A change has been made to the category 'considered too young or too old by employers' for the data items 'all difficulties in finding work' and 'main difficulty in finding work'. The category has been split into 'considered too young by employers' and 'considered too old by employers'. For the 2004 publication, these items appear in tables 2, 6, 7 and 8.



ROUNDING

As estimates have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.



INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Labour Household Surveys Section on Canberra (02) 6252 7206.



SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


OVERVIEW

In July 2004, there were 528,200 unemployed persons, a 6% decrease since July 2003 and a 26% decrease since July 1997. The median duration of unemployment has dropped from 26 weeks in July 1997 to 16 weeks in July 2004. In July 2004, almost two-thirds (63%) of unemployed persons reported they were without non-school qualifications, while 11% reported a Bachelor Degree or above as their highest level of non-school qualification.


There were 1,554,800 employed persons who started their current job in the 12 months prior to July 2004. The majority (66%) of these were working full time. Of those employed persons who started their current job in the previous year, 46% reported they were without non-school qualifications and 21% reported a Bachelor Degree or above as their highest level of non-school qualification.



UNEMPLOYED PERSONS

Job search experience

The most commonly reported steps taken to find work by unemployed persons in July 2004 were 'looked at advertisements for jobs in a newspaper' (87%) and 'wrote, phoned or applied in person to an employer for work' (86%). Other steps included 'answered an advertisement for a job in a newspaper' (66%), and 'registered with Centrelink as a jobseeker' (56%). Around 53% of unemployed persons stated they had 'registered with a Job Network employment agency'.


In July 2004, 13% of unemployed persons reported their main difficulty in finding work as being 'insufficient work experience', followed by 'too many applicants for available jobs' and 'considered too old by employers' (both 11%). The median duration of unemployment for those who reported they were 'considered too old by employers' was 51 weeks compared to 16 weeks for all unemployed persons.


Other characteristics of persons unemployed at July 2004 include:

  • 397,400 or 75% of unemployed persons had not started any job in the previous 12 months, while 43,700 (8%) had started two jobs or more
  • 81% did not receive any offers of employment during their current period of unemployment
  • 113,200 or 21% of unemployed persons spent the whole of the last year looking for work. Almost 25% of those looking for full-time work and 12% of those looking for part-time work spent the whole year looking for work
  • 59% had last held a job for two weeks or more, less than two years ago; while 17% had never worked in a job for two weeks or more.

Duration of unemployment

Just over one-fifth (21%) of unemployed persons in July 2004 were long-term unemployed, that is, they had been unemployed for 12 months or longer. Of the unemployed persons who were without non-school qualifications, 15% had been unemployed for two years or more compared to 11% of those with non-school qualifications.


Older unemployed

Approximately one-fifth (21%) of unemployed persons were aged 45 years and over. Over three quarters (81%) of unemployed persons aged 45 years and over were seeking full-time work.


Nearly half (46%) of unemployed persons aged 55 years and over reported their main difficulty in finding work was 'considered too old by employers'. This was also reported as the main difficulty in finding work by 29% of unemployed persons aged 45-54 years.


Young unemployed

Over one-third (39%) of unemployed persons were aged 15-24 years. Half (50%) of unemployed persons aged 15-19 years and 79% of those aged 20-24 years were seeking full-time work.


Of unemployed persons aged 15-19 years, 25% reported their main difficulty in finding work was 'insufficient work experience'. Around 19% of unemployed persons aged 20-24 years also reported this as their main difficulty.



EMPLOYED PERSONS WHO STARTED THEIR CURRENT JOB IN THE PREVIOUS 12 MONTHS

Of those employed persons who started their current job in the 12 months to July 2004, 43% were out of work prior to starting that job, 44% changed employer to start that job and 13% were employed in their own business. The majority (66%) of employed persons who started their current job in the previous 12 months were full-time workers in July 2004.


Steps taken to attain a job

Of those who were out of work prior to starting their current job, 64% 'wrote, phoned or applied in person to an employer for work'. Over half (52%) of employed persons who changed employer also took this step to attain a job. The most common among other steps taken to attain a job were 'looked at advertisements for jobs in a newspaper' (51% of persons out of work prior to starting a job and 37% of persons who changed employer to start a job), 'answered an advertisement for a job in a newspaper' (37% and 27% respectively), and 'looked at advertisements for jobs on the internet' (37% and 25% respectively).


Duration of looking for work

Over half (53%) of employed persons who started their current job in the previous 12 months looked for work for less than one year before being offered that job. A further 6% looked for one year or more, while 41% of persons didn't look for work at all.


Characteristics of current job

The majority (72%) of employed persons who started their current job in the previous 12 months started one job only, and most (90%) had worked before. Of those who usually work part-time hours, over one-third (38%) would prefer to work more hours.


Of the 533,100 part-time employed persons who started their current job in the previous 12 months, 30% were aged 15-19 years.


The most common occupation groups of employed persons who started their current job in the previous 12 months were Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers (19%) and Professionals (16%). Elementary clerical, sales and service workers was the most common occupation group of employed persons aged 15-19 years who started their job in the previous 12 months (37%).


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