4430.0 - Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/11/2013   
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Contents >> Carers >> Employment and income

Image: Carers, Employment and Income CARERS - EMPLOYMENT AND INCOME

Caring can have a significant impact on a person's ability to participate in employment. Overall, in 2012, the labour force participation rate for primary carers (42%) and carers (63%) was lower than that for non-carers aged 15 years or more (69%) (Table 37). However, in considering the labour force participation of carers, it is important to recognise that the older age profile of this group also contributes to observed differences to the non-carer population. In addition, a carer was less likely to participate in the labour force as the hours of care they provided increased. Since 2009 there was an increase in the proportion of primary carers who reported spending 40 hours or more per week caring (40% compared with 35%). In 2012, 58% of primary carers that provided less than 20 hours of care per week were in the labour force. This decreased to 27% of those who spent 40 hours or more per week caring. (Table 42)

Primary carers who are employed need to balance their caring role with their employment obligations. Of the males who were identified as primary carers, around a quarter worked full time (27%) and a further 11% were employed on a part time basis. This was different for females, with only 15% employed on a full time basis and around a quarter employed part time (24%). The unemployment rate for male carers was higher than for non-carers (7.3% compared with 4.8%). (Table 37)

Undertaking a caring role can pose a financial burden on both the carer themselves and members of their household. Proportionally, carers were more likely than non-carers to have household incomes in the lowest quintiles for equivalised gross household income in 2012. In particular, 65% of primary carers resided in a household with equivalised gross household income in the lowest two quintiles, compared with 36% of non-carers. Conversely, only 7% of primary carers had household incomes in the highest quintile of equivalised gross household income, compared with 23% of non-carers. (Table 37)

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