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6206.0 - Labour Force Experience, Australia, February 2009 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/08/2009   
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August 25, 2009

Embargoed: 11.30am (AEST)

Older Australians spent more time looking for work: ABS

Around 1.7 million or 1 in 10 Australians (aged 15 years and over) were out of work and looking for a job at some time during the year up to February 2009.

On average, people aged 55 years and over spent the most time looking for work while not working (21 out of 52 weeks), according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. On average,15-19 year olds spent the least time looking for work while not working (13 out of 52 weeks).

The average time spent looking for work whilst not working was around 16 weeks for both men and women.

Men were more likely to be out of work and looking for a job during the year than women (52% compared to 48%).

Of those who looked for work, three-quarters had one period of looking for work while not working during the twelve months to February 2009. The majority of those who looked (74%) spent less than 26 weeks looking for work, while 7% looked for the whole 12 months without finding a job.

Further information is in Labour Force Experience, Australia, February 2009 (cat. no. 6206.0), available free from the ABS web site <>.

Media notes:
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • As this survey measures labour force activity over a 12 month period, the terms worked and looked for work are used rather than the more precisely defined terms employed and unemployed. Worked and looked for work are mutually exclusive categories and someone defined as looking for work must also be without work.

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