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6220.0 - Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia, Sep 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/03/2003   
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MEDIA RELEASE

March 21, 2003
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
29/2003

3.8 million people not in the labour force

There were 3.8 million people aged 15 to 69 years who were not in the labour force (i.e. neither employed, nor unemployed) in September 2002, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This represents an increase of just over 1.6% on the September 2001 figure.

These 3.8 million people made up 28% of Australia's civilian population aged 15-69 years, with females accounting for two-thirds of people not in the labour force.

The number of people with marginal attachment (see Media Note) to the labour force fell to 808,100, a decrease of 1% since September 2001. Some 22% of females and 19% of males not in the labour force had a marginal attachment to the labour force.

Findings on people with marginal attachment to the labour force include:
  • 742,100 people wanted to work, were not actively looking for work, but were available to start work within four weeks.
  • 22,100 people wanted to work and were actively looking for work, but were not available to start work within four weeks;
  • 69% of females and 45% of males had a preference for part-time work; and
  • 17% of females and 37% of males had a preference for full-time work.

Of the 742,100 marginally attached people who wanted to work, were not actively looking for work, but were available to start work within four weeks, 78,000 were discouraged jobseekers. The main reasons given by discouraged job seekers for not actively looking for work were 'considered too young or too old by employers' (37%), 'no jobs in locality or line of work' (23%) and 'lacked necessary schooling, training, skills or experience' (22%).

Over three-quarters (79%) of the 3.8 million people not in the labour force were without marginal attachment to the labour force. Of these, 361,200 people wanted to work, but were neither actively looking nor available to start within four weeks.

Further information is in Persons not in the Labour Force, Australia, September 2002 (cat. no. 6220.0).

Media Note: People are defined as marginally attached to the labour force if they want to work, and are either not actively looking for work but are available to start work within four weeks, or are actively looking for work but are not available to start in the survey reference week.

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