Australia’s job market – by the numbers
Australia has more than million people looking for a full time job, according to the latest labour market snapshot from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The latest data reveals that of the 18.3 million people aged 18 years and over, there were 10.2 million who did not work full-time.
This group was made up people not in the labour force (6.1 million), unemployed persons (634,600), persons usually working fewer than 16 hours (1.1 million) and persons who usually work 16–34 hours (2.4 million).
Of those 10.2 million persons who did not work full-time, about 2.7 million – or 26 per cent – said that they would like a job or to work more hours, the ABS said.
This group was made up of 1.1 million people – or 40 percent – persons who wanted a job but were not in the labour force; 634,600 – or 23 per cent – of people who were unemployed; 368,900 – or 14 per cent – of people who usually worked up to 15 hours per week but wanted to work more hours; and 625,700 – or 23 per cent – of people who usually worked 16–34 hours per week but wanted to work more hours.
For the remaining 7.5 million people – or 74 percent – who did not work full-time: 5 million people – or 66 per cent – did not want a job; 719,500 people – of ten per cent – worked 0–15 hours per week but did not want more hours; and 1.8 million people – or 24 per cent – who worked 16–34 hours per week but did not want to work more hours.
The ABS survey found there were 2.7 million persons who did not work full-time and wanted a job or preferred to work more hours.
“Determining whether these persons wanted a job or were available to work more hours, is important because those who are available have a greater potential to participate or increase their participation in the labour force than those who are not available,” the survey said.
Of these 2.7 million people: 2.3 million persons were available to start work within four weeks.
More than half – or 61 per cent – of those who wanted a job or preferred more hours were female.
“This reflects the fact that, in comparison to males, more females worked less hours than they wanted to or were not in the labour force,” the survey said.
‘Caring for children ‘ was a commonly reported main reason for not looking for a job or work with more hours – in the cases of 168,800 people or 16 per cent. Most persons who reported this were aged between 30 – 54 years.
Another common reason for not looking for a job or work with more hours was ‘Studying/returning to studies’ – in the cases of 143,100 people or 13 per cent. Most of these people were aged between 18 – 29 years.
The survey found there were 1.2 million people who wanted a job or work with more hours, were available and were looking.
Of these: 634,600 – or 53 per cent – were unemployed; 529,600 – or 44 per cent – usually worked 34 hours or less; and 36,000 – or three per cent – were not in the labour force.
These people are deemed ‘not in the labour force’ rather than ‘unemployed’ because they were not available to start work immediately.
The survey also found that main difficulty in finding work was ‘too many applicants for available jobs’, cited by 205,100 people – or 18 per cent.
More than a half of those who reported this – or 57 per cent – were females.
‘No jobs or vacancies in locality/line of work/at all’ was another commonly reported difficulty, cited by 15 per cent of people.
The survey asked jobseekers what incentives would help them find a job.
For work related incentives to increase participation in the labour force, 49 per cent of females and 30 per cent of males reported the ‘ability to work part-time hours’ as ‘very important’.
For skill related incentives, 40 per cent of people reported ‘getting a job that matches skills and experience’ as ‘very important’.
Of parents surveyed, 48 per cent reported that ‘access to childcare places’ was ‘very important’ to them to join or increase participation in the labour force.
Half of females and 37 per cent of males reporting this as ‘very important’.
For employed people, 56 per cent reported the ‘ability to work part-time hours’ and 47 per cent reported ‘access to childcare places’ as ‘very important’.
For unemployed people, 58 per cent reported ‘getting a job that matches skills and experience’ and 51 per cent reported ‘access to childcare places’ as ‘very important’.
For people not in the labour force, 51 per cent reported ‘financial assistance with childcare costs’ as ‘very important’.
AMES Australia Senior Journalist