6296.0 - Information Paper: Measures of Labour Underutilisation, 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/02/2002   
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The number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rated are widely used as measures of the extent of underutilisation of labour resources in the economy. While the ABS continues its commitment to producing employment statistics based on internationally accepted definitions, it also recognises that the headline unemployment rate cannot satisfy all the purposes for which such data are required.

The ABS provides a wide range of data on available labour resources and the extent of labour utilisation. Supplementary measures based on these data can be used to give a broader perspective on the meaning and measurement of unemployment and underutilised labour. In particular, measures are available of underemployment and of persons who, although not currently economically active, have some of the characteristics of the unemployed (i.e. persons marginally attached to the labour force).

This information paper discusses ABS measures of labour underutilisation and proposes four indicators of labour underutilisation. It also identifies and discusses population groups, within the wider groups of unemployed, underemployed and marginally attached persons, that were used to develop these indicators.