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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

PERSONS NOT IN THE LABOUR FORCE

Persons not in the labour force represent that group of the population who, during the reference week of the ABS monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS), are neither employed nor unemployed (see diagram 8.2). Interest in this group from a labour market perspective centres primarily on their potential to participate in the labour force, and their reasons for not being in the labour force at a given point in time.

There were 5.9 million people aged 15 years and over not in the labour force at September 2010 (table 8.38). Nearly one-sixth (16%) of people outside the labour force (925,900) were marginally attached to the labour force. These people wanted to work and were either actively looking for work but were not available to start work in the reference week, or were not actively looking, but available to start work (in the reference week or within four weeks). Of people not in the labour force, a similar proportion of females were marginally attached compared with males (16% and 15% respectively). Of those marginally attached, a higher proportion of males were actively looking for work compared with females (9% and 7%).

In September 2010, there were 102,100 discouraged jobseekers. Discouraged jobseekers are people who are marginally attached to the labour force, want to work and are available to start work, but are not actively looking for work as they believe they will not find a job for labour market related reasons, such as 'No jobs in locality or line of work', 'Considered too old by employers' or 'Lacked the necessary schooling, training, skills or experience'. Of those males and females who were marginally attached to the labour force, 11% were discouraged jobseekers.


8.38 LABOUR FORCE STATUS(a)—September 2010

Males
Females
Persons
'000
'000
'000

Civilian population aged 15 years and over
8 865.5
9 022.2
17 887.7
Persons in the labour force
6 546.7
5 460.3
12 007.0
Employed
6 220.9
5 176.9
11 397.7
Unemployed
325.8
283.4
609.2
Persons not in the labour force
2 318.8
3 561.9
5 880.7
With marginal attachment to the labour force
349.4
576.4
925.9
Wanted to work and were actively looking for work
32.9
41.9
74.9
Were available to start work within four weeks
23.1
30.2
53.2
Were not available to start work within four weeks
9.9
11.8
21.7
Wanted to work but were not actively looking for work and were available to start work within four weeks
316.5
534.5
851.0
Discouraged jobseekers
39.9
62.3
102.1
Other
276.6
472.3
748.9
Without marginal attachment to the labour force
1 969.3
2 985.5
4 954.8
Wanted to work but were not actively looking for work and were not available to start work within four weeks
126.6
239.9
366.5
Did not want to work
1 637.5
2 562.0
4 199.5
Permanently unable to work
205.3
183.5
388.8

(a) Civilian population aged 15 years and over.
Source: Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia (6220.0).


For those persons not in the labour force in September 2010, males were more likely to cite 'Personal reasons' as their main reason for not actively looking for work (61% of males compared to 34% of females), while females were more likely to cite 'Family reasons' (42% of females compared to 6% of males) (table 8.39). The most commonly reported main reason for not actively looking for work for males was 'Attending an educational institution' (33% compared to 18% of females), followed by 'Own long-term health condition or disability' (16%). The most commonly reported main reason for not actively looking for work for females was 'Caring for children' (30% compared to 3% of males), followed by 'Attending an educational institution' (18%).


8.39 SELECTED MAIN REASON NOT ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR WORK—September 2010

Males
Females
Persons
%
%
%

Wanted to work but were not actively looking for work and were available to start work within four weeks
Discouraged jobseekers
12.6
11.6
12.0
Lacked the necessary schooling, training, skills or experience
1.4
2.6
2.1
No jobs in locality or line of work
2.1
1.9
2.0
Considered too old by employers
6.2
3.6
4.6
Other reasons
87.4
88.4
88.0
Personal reasons
60.6
34.0
43.9
Own short-term illness or injury
3.9
2.6
3.1
Own long-term health condition or disability
15.5
5.2
9.0
Attending an educational institution
32.6
17.9
23.4
Other personal reasons
8.6
7.8
8.1
Had no need to work
5.7
4.3
4.8
Moved house or holidays
2.4
2.1
2.2
Family reasons
5.6
42.1
28.5
Ill health of other than self
1.5
3.7
2.9
Caring for children
2.7
29.8
19.7
Other family considerations
1.4
8.5
5.8
Other reasons
10.7
5.6
7.5
Had a job to go to
9.3
5.7
7.0

Source: Persons Not in the Labour Force, Australia (6220.0).


The main activity for people when not in the labour force also differed between males and females. The most commonly reported main activity for males was 'Retired or voluntarily inactive' and 'Attending an educational institution' (38% and 22% respectively), whereas for females the main activity when not in the labour force was 'Home duties' and 'Retired or voluntarily inactive' (32% and 23% respectively) (graph 8.40).

8.40 Main Activity when not in the Labour Force - September 2010

 

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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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