4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, June 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/06/2009   
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June 30, 2009
Embargoed: 11.30 am (AEST)
45/2009 (National)
Young Australians: casual work and the comforts of their parents' home: ABS

More than ever before, young Australians are living with their parents. They're also working on a casual basis and are more likely to move across the country than any other generation. This information and more is in the latest Australian Social Trends publication from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Home and away

Young people are more likely to live with their parents than in previous decades. In 2006, almost one in four people aged 20–34 were living with their parents.

Almost half of those who leave before their mid-30s return home at least once, usually within three years. Money issues were a common reason young people stayed home, but many also said they enjoyed living at home and it was convenient.

Casual employees

One in four workers are casual employees. Casuals tend to be young, with 40% of them aged 15-24, and their earnings and hours are more likely to vary from pay to pay than is the case for other employees.

In 2007, 47% of casual employees had earnings that varied from pay to pay (compared with 16% of other employees). Casuals were twice as likely as other employees to work in jobs where the hours varied from week to week (35% and 17% respectively).

Relocation across the nation

Nearly two million Australians moved to a new city or region in the five years to 2006. South east Queensland and south west Western Australia were the most popular destinations.

Brisbane, Gold Coast-Tweed and the Sunshine Coast were common choices. The movers tended to be younger than the rest of the population, with 40% of them aged 20-39.

Health literacy

In 2006, only 41% of adults had adequate or better health literacy skills. These skills affect the decisions people make about screening and diagnostic tests as well as their understanding of treatment and medication.

Older people are more likely than younger people to be managing multiple long-term conditions and are also the least likely to be able to use health information to manage their conditions.

More details on these topics, and an article on student achievement in maths and science, are available in the June edition of Australian Social Trends, 2009.