6224.0 - Labour Force Status and other Characteristics of Families, Australia, June 1997  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/09/1997   
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September 30, 1997
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Australia's families and the workforce - ABS

In June 1997, 84 percent of Australia's 2.5 million families with dependants had one or more family members in employment, according to the report Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS report showed that there were five million families in Australia made up of two or more related people usually living in the same household.

There were over four million couple families (83 per cent of all families) and just under half of these had dependants (children under 15 years of age plus other family members aged 15-24 who were full-time students).

For couple families with dependants:
  • one or both partners were employed in 91 per cent of these families ;
  • 9 per cent had neither parent employed, and in most of these families, one or both parents were unemployed;
  • the husband was unemployed in 5 per cent of these families, half of whom had been looking for work for 30 weeks or more;
  • the wife was unemployed in 3 per cent of these families.

The number of one parent families continued to grow to 721,100 in June 1997 compared with 672,000 in June 1996. Women headed 84 per cent of one parent families.

For one parent families with dependants:
  • 47 per cent of parents were employed, 9 per cent were unemployed and 44 per cent were not in the labour force;
  • half of unemployed parents had been looking for work for 29 weeks or longer;
  • the parent was not employed in 272,000 of these families, with over 400,000 children aged 0-14 (11 per cent of all children aged 0-14).

There were 2,377,300 persons in June 1997 who were not members of a family. The majority (64 per cent) of these people lived alone. Of those living alone, only 43 per cent were employed (57 per cent of men but only 31 per cent of women), reflecting the older age profile of this group . In contrast, 72 per cent of people not living alone (but not members of a family) were employed.

More details are in Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families, Australia, June 1997 (cat. no. 6224.0), available from ABS bookshops in all capital cities.