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6239.0 - Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation, Australia, Jul 2006 to Jun 2007 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/12/2007   
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MEDIA RELEASE
December 19, 2007
Embargoed 11.30 am (AEDT)
136/2007
Over half a million women available to take up a job or more hours but not looking: ABS
There were 1.7 million adult Australians who said they wanted to play a greater part in the labour force but couldn't for a variety of reasons, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The vast majority (1.4 million) of these people were not employed but wanted a job. A smaller number of people (273,000) who usually worked less than 16 hours a week wanted to work more hours.

However, less than a third of people (512,000) who wanted to play a greater part in the labour force were actively searching for work or for a job with more hours. The remaining people were either not available (337,700), or were not actively looking for a job or more hours (800,600).

There were approximately half a million women who were available to take up a job or work more hours but were not looking.

Of these, just over one in four (26%) cited 'caring for children' as the main reason they were not looking. Almost half (42%) of these women said that they 'preferred to look after children', while 21% reported issues with cost, and a further 14% issues with availability.

Other common reasons why women were not looking for work or more hours included 'studying/returning to studies' (12%) and disability (8%).

Study was also a common reason for men. Of the almost 300,000 men who were available to take up a job or work more hours but were not looking, one in five (58,000) gave 'studying/returning to studies' as the main reason.

A further 16% (45,000) of men who wanted a job or more hours but were not looking said the main reason was that employers considered them to be too old.

Further details can be found in Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation, Australia, July 2006 to June 2007 (cat. no. 6239.0).


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