6287.0 - New experimental Indigenous labour force statistics: ABS, 2002 to 2004  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2006   
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January 25, 2006
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
New experimental Indigenous labour force statistics: ABS

Today the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the findings from a new series of experimental estimates compiled from the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) on the labour force characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. These estimates are the first in a new series to be released annually by the ABS.

The publication includes information about how the estimates were constructed and presents a number of important statistical and data quality issues which should be considered when using the LFS estimates to describe labour force characteristics of Indigenous people. In particular, the reliability of estimates, which are affected by the small number of Indigenous people in the LFS sample, the relatively small size of the Indigenous population and collection difficulties in remote areas.

These estimates show that the unemployment rate for Indigenous people has declined over the three year period 2002 to 2004, but there are also less Indigenous people in the labour force.

Specific findings include:
  • In 2004, there were 136,500 Indigenous people employed (aged 15 years and over) and 27,600 people unemployed.
  • The unemployment rate for Indigenous people was 16.8% in 2004 (18.3% in 2002).
  • The labour force participation rate (the number in the labour force expressed as a percentage of the population aged 15 and over) was 54% in 2004, down from 59% in 2002.
  • The employment to population ratio was 45%, with the lowest rate experienced by Indigenous people in regional areas (43%).

Further details are in Labour Force Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: Experimental Estimates from the Labour Force Survey, 2002 to 2004 (cat. no. 6287.0). The publication can be downloaded for free from this web site.