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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2002   
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Contents >> Labour >> Persons unemployed

In the Labour Force Survey, people are considered to be unemployed if they satisfy three criteria: they are not employed, they are available for work, and they are taking active steps to find work.

Two important measures of unemployment are the number of persons unemployed and the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate is defined as the number of unemployed persons expressed as a percentage of the labour force.

The number of unemployed persons in annual average terms peaked at 914,100 in 1992-93, and has been declining since then, down to 625,500 in 2000-01 (table 6.13).

The number of persons unemployed for 52 weeks or more (the 'long-term unemployed') fell from 215,800 in 1997-98 to 146,200 in 2000-01. Of all unemployed persons in 2000-01, 23% had been unemployed for 52 weeks or more, compared with 28% in 1995-96.

6.13 UNEMPLOYED PERSONS, Duration of Unemployment, Annual Average

Weeks
1995-96
1996-97
1997-98
1998-99
1999-00
2000-01

NUMBER UNEMPLOYED (’000)

Under 52
534.0
558.0
522.0
486.0
464.6
479.3
52 and under 104
90.8
98.0
103.8
90.7
67.8
60.4
104 and over
111.8
108.9
112.0
114.9
102.1
85.8
Total
736.5
764.9
737.8
691.7
634.5
625.5

% OF TOTAL UNEMPLOYED

Under 52
72.5
73.0
70.8
70.3
73.2
76.6
52 and under 104
12.3
12.8
14.1
13.1
10.7
9.7
104 and over
15.2
14.2
15.2
16.6
16.1
13.7
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

(a) Estimates from January 1995 to January 1999 have been revised to reflect revisions in the civilian population arising from the 1996 Census.

Source: ABS data available on request, Labour Force Survey.


The annual average unemployment rate for all persons peaked at almost 10.7% in 1992-93. The rate has generally been falling since then, to 6.4% in 2000-01. For males the rate fell to 6.7% in 2000-01 from a peak of almost 11.5% in 1992-93. The female rate fell from almost 9.6% in 1993-94 to 6.1% in 2000-01 (graph 6.14).




In 2000-01 the unemployment rates for 15-19 year olds (22.5%) and 20-24 year olds (10.5%) looking for full-time work were higher than the average for all age groups (6.6%). These rates were also higher than for those in the same age groups seeking part-time work (13.4% and 6.4% respectively) (table 6.15). In these age groups, many people are still completing their education. There are slightly more 15-19 year olds studying full-time and looking for part-time work (62,100) than not studying full-time and looking for full-time work (57,600).

6.15 UNEMPLOYED PERSONS, Age and Whether Looking for Full-time or Part-time Work, Annual Average - 2000-01

No. unemployed
Unemployment rate


Males

’000
Females

’000
Persons

’000
Males

%
Females

%
Persons

%

LOOKING FOR FULL-TIME WORK

Aged 15-19 -
41.0
27.2
68.2
22.1
23.1
22.5
-Attending school/tertiary educational institution full-time(a)
5.3
5.3
10.6
45.3
46.1
45.5
-Not attending school/tertiary educational institution full-time(a)
35.8
21.9
57.6
20.6
20.6
20.6
Aged 20-24 -
55.3
31.7
87.0
11.5
9.1
10.5
-Attending a tertiary educational institution full-time(a)
3.3
2.4
5.6
26.2
21.6
23.6
-Not attending a tertiary educational institution full-time(a)
52.0
29.3
81.3
11.1
8.7
10.1
Aged 25-34
78.1
39.6
117.7
6.4
5.8
6.2
Aged 35-44
61.7
34.9
96.5
4.9
6.1
5.3
Aged 45-54
47.6
24.6
72.3
4.5
4.5
4.5
Aged 55 and over
25.0
5.9
30.8
4.8
3.5
4.5
Total
308.8
163.7
472.5
6.5
6.7
6.6

LOOKING FOR PART-TIME WORK

Aged 15-19 -
32.7
35.8
68.5
14.4
12.7
13.4
-Attending school/tertiary educational institution full-time(a)
29.6
32.6
62.1
16.2
14.2
15.1
-Not attending school/tertiary educational institution full-time(a)
3.1
3.2
6.3
6.8
7.1
6.4
Aged 20-24 -
7.3
13.1
20.4
6.4
7.3
6.4
-Attending a tertiary educational institution full-time(a)
5.2
6.4
11.7
8.8
8.1
8.5
-Not attending a tertiary educational institution full-time(a)
2.0
6.7
8.7
3.6
6.6
5.6
Aged 25-34
5.1
15.6
20.7
4.9
4.6
4.7
Aged 35-44
3.8
17.4
21.3
4.8
3.6
3.7
Aged 45-54
3.6
10.5
14.1
4.3
2.8
3.1
Aged 55 and over
4.7
3.5
15.4
3.6
1.8
4.8
Total
57.0
95.9
153.0
7.7
5.2
5.9

(a) Data have not been revised to reflect definitional changes in the Labour Force Survey questionnaire introduced in April 2001. Data collected from April 2001 onwards are not strictly comparable with data collected in earlier periods. For further information, see Information Paper: Implementing the Redesigned Labour Force Survey Questionnaire (6295.0).

Source: Labour Force Australia (6203.0).


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