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6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Preliminary, Jan 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/02/2002   
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MEDIA RELEASE

February 14, 2002
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
9/2002
Tasmanian unemployment rate continues steady decline
This Media Release has been produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics office in Hobart primarily for the information of Tasmanian media. The information is drawn from the national labour force publication: Labour Force, Australia, Preliminary, (cat. no. 6202.0) released today. Tasmania media contact: Chris Carswell - (03) 6222 5783


Figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the trend estimate of the unemployment rate for Tasmania has declined for the fourth successive month to 8.7% at January 2002. The rate has increased from 8.6% in January 2001 and compares to the January 2002 national figure of 6.8%.
  • Number employed The trend estimate of the total number of employed persons in Tasmania in January 2002 was 199,800, down 2,500 from the January 2001 trend estimate of 202,300. The trend estimate of the number of persons employed full-time was 139,000 (139,000 in January 2001), while the number employed part-time was 60,800 (63,300 in January 2001).
  • Number unemployed The trend estimate of the number of persons unemployed was 19,000 in January 2002 (19,100 in January 2001). The number of unemployed males was 11,700 (12,300 in January 2001) and the number of unemployed females was 7,200 (6,800 in January 2001).
  • Unemployment rate The trend estimate of the unemployment rate for Tasmania in January 2002 was 8.7% (8.6% in January 2001). The male unemployment rate was 9.6% (9.9% in January 2001), while the female unemployment rate was 7.5% (7.0% in January 2001). The trend estimate of the national unemployment rate in January 2002 was 6.8% (6.4% in January 2001).
  • Participation rate The trend estimate of the participation rate for Tasmania in January 2002 was 58.6% (59.5% in January 2001). The male participation rate was 67.7% (68.8% in January 2001), while the female participation rate was 50.1% (50.8% in January 2001).

Note: The analysis above emphasises trend estimates. Trend estimates are the preferred guide to gaining an understanding of what the monthly labour force statistics are saying about the underlying behaviour of the labour market.

Graph - Employed persons, Tasmania


Graph - Unemployment rates, trend

Graph - Unemployed persons, Tasmania

Graph - Unemployment rates, January 2002, trend


Labour force definitions

TREND SERIES: Figures given in this Media Release are monthly trend estimates.

Trend estimates 'smooth out' erratic movements in the data. The trend series reflects the general drift or underlying path of the data. The monthly series that are 'smoothed', or averaged out, are seasonally adjusted series.

Seasonally adjusted series remove known seasonal and calendar-related influences. Examples are the effects of Easter and Christmas on employment and retail sales. However, these seasonally adjusted series can still show erratic movements, due to irregular influences such as strikes. These erratic movements may be 'smoothed' by averaging figures over a period of months; the resultant series is known as a trend series.

EMPLOYMENT: Persons aged 15 and over are considered employed if, during the week of the Labour Force Survey, they worked for one hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind in a job, business, or on a farm.

UNEMPLOYMENT: Unemployed persons are persons aged 15 and over who were not employed during the week of the Labour Force Survey, and:

(a) had actively looked for full-time or part-time work at any time in the four weeks up to the end of the reference week and were either:
    (i) available for work in the reference week, or would have been available except for temporary illness (i.e. lasting for less than 4 weeks to the end of the reference week);
    (ii) waiting to start a new job within 4 weeks from the end of the reference week and would have started in the reference week if the job had been available then; or

(b) were waiting to be called back to a full-time or part-time job from which they had been stood down without pay for less than four weeks up to the end of the reference week (including the whole of the reference week for reasons other than bad weather or plant breakdown).

LABOUR FORCE: The labour force is defined as the total number of employed plus the total number of unemployed.

PERSONS NOT IN THE LABOUR FORCE: Many people are neither employed or unemployed, according to ABS categories. Examples of people in this category are retirees, those who choose not to work, and those who are unable to work. These groups form an important part of the labour force framework and contain people who are known collectively as persons not in the labour force.

PARTICIPATION RATE: The participation rate is the proportion of the population aged 15 and over that are in the labour force. For example, the participation rate for females is derived by adding the number of females employed to the number of females unemployed and dividing this number (the female labour force) by the total number of females in the population aged 15 and over and expressing this as a percentage.

(For more detail, see Explanatory Notes in cat. no. 6202.0, or phone the ABS on 03 6222 5783.)

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