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2076.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2011 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/11/2012  First Issue
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LABOUR FORCE

KEY FINDINGS

Note: It is important to distinguish between Census labour force data, and the monthly labour force statistics that are released by the ABS. The monthly labour force statistics are Australia's official measure of unemployment, with data collected by interview over an eight month period from a sample of the civilian population aged 15 years and over. The 2011 Census collected labour force information from all persons in Australia aged 15 years and over who were counted on Census night.

In the 2011 Census, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people recorded:


PARTICIPATION IN THE LABOUR FORCE

In the 2011 Census, about half (51%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over were participating in the labour force. The participation rate was higher for males (55%) than females (46%).

The participation rate for non-Indigenous people aged 15 years and over was 13 percentage points higher (64%) than for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. When the population is restricted to people aged 15 to 64 years in order to adjust for the larger proportion of older people in the non-Indigenous population (with their lower participation rates), the difference in labour force participation rates between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and the non-Indigenous population increases to 23 percentage points (53% compared with 76% respectively).


LABOUR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people(a)

Graph shows labour force participation rates were higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males than females for all age groups (15-19, 20-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54 and 55-64 years).


EMPLOYMENT

In the 2011 Census, about two in five (42%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over were employed (employment to population ratio), compared with about three in five non-Indigenous people (61%). A higher proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males (45%) were employed than females (39%).

Of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were employed:
  • 92% were employees, 6% worked in their own business and 1% were contributing family workers
  • 75% were employed in the private sector and 23% worked in the public sector
  • 59% worked full-time hours and 32% worked part-time hours
  • 19% reported their highest level of education was Year 10 or equivalent and a further 17% had completed Year 12 or equivalent
  • 38% had a non-school qualification
  • 18% were employed as labourers and 17% as community and personal service workers, while professionals, clerical and administrative workers and technicians and trade workers each accounted for 13% of employees.
There were 4,800 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over identified as Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) participants in the 2011 Census. Two-thirds (66%) of CDEP participants reported working part-time hours, compared with one-third (32%) of all employed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Almost one-quarter (24%) of CDEP participants had a non-school qualification.


UNEMPLOYMENT

The unemployment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over in the 2011 Census was 17%. The unemployment rate for males (18%) was higher than for females (16%). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were about three times more likely than non-Indigenous people to be unemployed (17% compared with 5%).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 to 19 years recorded the highest unemployment rate (31%). A similar pattern was observed for the non-Indigenous population, where those aged 15 to 19 years also had the highest unemployment rate (16%). The unemployment rate for both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people was progressively lower in the older age groups, dropping to 8% and 4% respectively for people aged 55 to 64 years.


UNEMPLOYMENT RATE(a)

Graph shows unemployment rates for both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people are highest for persons aged 15 to 19 years and decline progressively for older age groups.


VOLUNTARY WORK

In the 2011 Census, 13% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over reported that they had done voluntary work for an organisation or group in the previous 12 months, compared with 19% of non-Indigenous people. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females were more likely than males to have volunteered (14% compared with 12%).



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