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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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Labour

INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS

Labour force participation data presented for international comparisons are from the International Labour Organization (ILO) labour force statistics database. Some of the differences observed between participation rates for Australia and other countries reflect differences in statistical treatment between countries, rather than actual differences in workforce participation. Hong Kong (SAR of China) and Singapore do not have participation rates available from the ILO.

In 2010, Australia's labour force participation rate for those aged 15–64 years was 66% – above that of most of the selected countries shown in Table 8.60, but below some countries, including Sweden (71%), New Zealand and Indonesia (both 68%) and Canada (67%). The lowest participation rates observed were in Italy (48%), Greece (54%) and France (57%).

Table 8.60 shows that Australia's unemployment rate in 2010 was 5.2%, much lower than Greece (12.5%), France (9.8%) and the United States of America (9.6%). Singapore (2.1%), Malaysia (3.3%) and Korea, Republic of (South) (3.7%) had the lowest unemployment rates of the selected countries, with Hong Kong (SAR of China) and Japan also having lower unemployment rates than Australia (4.3% and 5.1% respectively).

8.60 INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS, Employment and unemployment(a)—2010

Economically active population(b)
Participation rate
Employment
Unemployment




Persons
Males
Females(c)
Persons
Persons
Persons
Rate
Selected Countries
'000
%
%
%
'000
'000
%

Australia
11 867.7
72.5
58.7
65.5
11 247.0
620.8
5.2
Canada
18 525.1
71.7
62.4
67.0
17 041.0
1 484.1
8.0
France
28 378.5
62.2
51.9
56.8
25 735.8
2 847.2
9.8
Greece
5 017.4
64.2
44.1
53.9
4 388.6
628.7
12.5
Hong Kong (SAR of China)
3 675.9
na
na
na
3 518.3
157.6
4.3
Indonesia
116 262.8
na
na
67.8
107 806.7
8 456.1
7.3
Italy
24 974.7
59.4
38.2
48.4
22 872.3
2 102.4
8.4
Japan
65 898.3
71.6
48.5
59.6
62 563.3
3 335.0
5.1
Korea, Republic of (South)
24 746.9
73.0
49.4
61.0
23 828.8
918.1
3.7
Malaysia
11 679.1
na
na
62.9
11 291.4
387.7
3.3
New Zealand
2 332.5
74.4
62.1
68.1
2 180.3
152.2
6.5
Singapore
3 128.2
na
na
na
3 063.3
64.8
2.1
Sweden
4 960.6
73.9
67.3
70.7
4 545.3
415.3
8.4
United Kingdom
31 381.8
69.1
56.0
62.4
28 941.5
2 440.2
7.8
United States of America
153 888.7
71.2
58.6
64.7
139 063.9
14 824.8
9.6

na not available
(a) For most countries, the age range for each of the populations in the table is 15 years and over. However, the age range varies for some countries as follows: Malaysia – 15–64 years; Sweden – 16–64 years; UK and USA – 16 years and over. Definitions also vary in terms of the inclusion or exclusion of certain other segments of the population such as the armed forces.
(b) The 'economically active population' comprises all persons who supplied labour for the production of goods and services during a specified time period. Two common measures of the economically active population are the 'usually active population', measured in relation to a long reference period such as a year, and the 'currently active population' (often referred to as 'the labour force'), measured in relation to a short reference period such as one day or one week.
(c) Participation rates for women are frequently not comparable internationally since, in many countries, relatively large numbers of women assist on farms or in other family enterprises without pay.
Source: International Labour Organization, LABORSTA database.

 

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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.

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