The ABS conceptual framework for underemployment separates employed people into two mutually exclusive groups:
- workers who are considered to be fully employed, comprising:
- employed people who worked full-time during the reference week (includes people who usually work part-time);
- employed people who usually work full-time but worked part-time in the reference week for non-economic reasons (including illness or injury, leave, holiday or flextime, and personal reasons); and
- part-time workers (usually work part-time and did so in the reference week) who would not prefer additional hours of work.
- workers who are not fully employed, comprising:
- part-time workers who would prefer to work more hours; and
- full-time workers who worked part-time in the reference week for economic reasons (such as being stood down or insufficient work being available).
The conceptual framework further defines workers who are underemployed, comprising:
- part-time workers who would prefer to work more hours and were available to start work with more hours, either in the reference week or in the four weeks following the survey; and
- full-time workers who worked part-time hours in the reference week for economic reasons (such as being stood down or insufficient work being available).
The following diagram presents estimates from the September 2013 Underemployed Workers Survey.