6224.0.55.001 - Labour Force, Australia: Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families, Jun 2011 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/09/2011   
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Contents >> Jobless Families


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A jobless family is a family where neither the parents nor any dependants over 15 are employed. In a jobless family, all of the family members are either unemployed or not in the labour force. Families that have no employed members but do have members that are "undetermined in the scope of the labour force survey," such as members of the permanent Australian defence force, are not included in the number of jobless families.

In June 2011, there were 1.2 million jobless families - some 19% of all families. Of these, 910 thousand were jobless couple families - about 1 in every 6 couple families - and 290 thousand jobless lone parent families - almost 1 in every 3 lone parent families.


About 96 thousand couple families with dependants had all family members over 15 jobless - which is about 1 in every 24 couple families with dependants. In families where either or both partners were actively looking for work, almost 1 in 3 had been looking for longer than a year. In almost three quarters of jobless couple families with dependants, the age of the youngest child was 0–9 years.

There were 180 thousand children aged 0–14 in jobless couple families in June 2011.

Line Graph: Shows the percentage of jobless couple families hasn't changed much over the last 7 years in contrast to a 5 point drop in the percentage of jobless lone parent families

In June 2011, there were 210 thousand jobless lone parent families with dependants - about one third of all lone parent families with dependants. Of these families, 89% were single mother families and 74% had children under 10 years old.

In 23% of jobless lone parent families where the parent was unemployed, the duration of unemployment was a year or longer.

The number of children aged 0–14 in jobless lone parent families was 340 thousand in June 2011.

Column Graph: Shows the percentage of jobless families with dependants increases as the age of youngest dependant decreases

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