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The following article was first published 14 January 2019 in 6291.0.55.001. The media release which accompanied the original article can be found here.
TABLE 1. EMPLOYED PERSONS USUALLY WORKING LESS THAN 30 HOURS, 2018 AVERAGE (ORIGINAL DATA)
WHAT IF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY USED A DIFFERENT THRESHOLD?
Table 2 provides a basic illustration, using hours usually worked, of how employment statistics would change if an alternative threshold was to be used. For example, if people worked one day a week (7 hours), or half a day a week (rounded up to 4 hours).
Employment would be very similar, as would the employment to population ratio.
TABLE 2. ILLUSTRATIVE ESTIMATES USING DIFFERENT THRESHOLDS, 2018 AVERAGE (ORIGINAL DATA)
UNDEREMPLOYMENT FOR THOSE WORKING RELATIVELY LOW HOURS PER WEEK
During 2018, underemployed people made up around 8.8-9.0% of all employed people (the underemployment ratio).
Table 3 shows that this was higher for people usually working relatively low hours per week, at around 1 in 3 people who were underemployed. This suggests that around 2 in 3 employed people were not wanting to work extra hours or were not available to do so.
TABLE 3. UNDEREMPLOYMENT FOR PERSONS USUALLY WORKING LESS THAN 10 HOURS, 2018 AVERAGE (ORIGINAL DATA)
THE IMPORTANCE OF CONSIDERING ALL RELEVANT MEASURES
Headline employment figures effectively show how many people are employed, but they alone cannot highlight whether people want more work, what their earnings are, and what employment conditions they are entitled to.
No single labour market measure can answer every question, which is why the ABS releases a broad range of information on a regular, frequent and timely basis, across more than 50 releases a year. We strongly recommend using the measures that best answer your question.
A full list of publications containing Labour Market data can be found in the Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).
We are always available to help you find the measure you need, either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070. Media can contact the ABS Media hotline on 1300 175 070.
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