6224.0 - Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families, Australia, Jun 1999  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/10/1999   
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October 11, 1999
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Australian families and the labour force - ABS

Just over three-quarters (76%) of Australian families had at least one family member (aged 15 years and over) employed in June 1999, while 8.5% of families had at least one family member unemployed, according to results of a survey published today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

A family was defined for the purposes of this survey as two or more related persons usually resident in the same household at the time of the survey.

Couple families made up 83% of all families, while one-parent families made up 15%. Almost half (48%) of couple families had dependants (children under 15 years of age and/or 15-24 year old full-time students). Just under three-quarters (71%) of one-parent families had dependants present.

Other findings for couple families show:
  • In 92% of families one or both partners were employed. This compares with 89% ten years ago;
  • In 60% of families the female parent was employed;
  • The number of families which had one or both parents unemployed has steadily declined from 10.7% in June 1993 to 6.5%; and,
  • There were 269,800 children aged 0-14 in families where neither parent was employed.

For one parent families with dependants, findings show:
  • Most (86%) families had a female parent;
  • The parent was employed in just under half (49%) of one-parent families with dependants, and unemployed in 8.8%;
  • Employment increased with the age of the youngest dependant. Where the youngest dependant was aged 0-4, 26% of sole parents were employed, compared with 74% for those whose youngest dependant was aged 15-24; and,
  • There were 453,200 children aged 0-14 in one-parent families where the parent was not employed, a drop of 6% from the previous year.

There were over 5 million families in June 1999, with 82% of the civilian population aged 15 and over (nearly 12 million people) being members of these families. A further 2.5 million people were not living with family members, of whom 64% were living alone. Over half of those who lived alone were female, of whom two-thirds were aged 55 and over. Some 52% of people who lived alone were not in the labour force.

More details are in Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families, Australia, June 1999 (cat. no. 6224.0) available from ABS bookshops. A summary of this publication is available on this site. The ABS encourages media organisations with online news services to link to the main findings. Please phone us if you need assistance to do this.