6265.0 - Underemployed Workers, Australia, Sep 1997  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/04/1998   
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  • Nearly one quarter of part-time workers want more work (Media Release)


April 22, 1998
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Nearly one quarter of part-time workers want more work

Nearly one-quarter of Australia's 2.2 million part-time workers wanted to work more hours, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Of the 2,208,300 part-time workers in September 1997, 23 per cent (515,000) wanted work with more hours. Sixty-two percent (321,600) of those wanting more hours wanted full-time hours. The remaining 38 per cent (193,900) wanted to work more part-time hours.

Almost half (47 per cent or 242,400) of all part-time workers who wanted more hours, were looking for extra work and were available to start extra work in the week before the survey. There were an additional 41,400 (8 per cent) part-time workers wanting more hours who were looking for extra work and were available to start extra work within four weeks.

Other findings for part-time workers who wanted to work more hours were:
  • 62 per cent were female, an increase of 8 per cent since September 1996;
  • the proportion of males has been increasing since the mid 1980s (from 29 per cent in May 1985, and 41 per cent in September 1996);
  • the proportion of older persons has decreased since the mid 1980s (22 per cent were aged 45 years and over in May 1985 compared to 17 per cent in September 1997);
  • approximately 60 per cent of both males and females had no post-school qualifications; and
  • the average duration of the current period of insufficient work was 58.6 weeks (62.9 weeks for females and 51.7 weeks for males).

The average number of extra hours per week wanted by all part-time workers wanting more hours was 16.4.

The most common steps taken, during the four weeks before the survey, to find extra hours were 'contacting prospective employers', 'looking in newspapers' and 'registering with the CES'.

In addition, the survey of Underemployed Workers showed that 37,900 full-time workers worked less than 35 hours in the survey reference week due to being stood down, short time or insufficient work being available.

Details are found in Underemployed Workers, Australia, September 1997 (cat. no. 6265.0) available from ABS Bookshops.