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    Jobless in Oz
    Australian statistics on unemployment

    from The Jobs Letter No.89 / 28 October 1998

    A new report on Australia's long-term unemployed highlights the tough times being faced by jobseekers across the Tasman, with the Australian unemployment rate remaining stuck at 8.5%. The report, issued by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, shows that 23% of the total number of unemployed in May 1995 _ a total of 197,000 people _ had failed to find work of any kind by September 1997.

    " Only one-quarter of the 875,000 jobseekers in May 1995 were able to find what the bureau describes as "sustained work experience" work for at least 12 months ..."

    The people who bore the brunt of the slow job growth were the long-term unemployed, the mature aged, people with little or poor English and people from a low socio-economic background. Some of those people appeared to have given up and had left the labour market; but more than half the total remained in the job hunt.

    The bureau's research also shows a further 16% or 138,000 people had gained no more than "minimal work" during the same period, an outcome that saw them spend less than six of the intervening 28 months in a paid job. Only one-quarter of the 875,000 jobseekers in May 1995 were able to find what the bureau describes as "sustained work experience" work for at least 12 months during the same lengthy period.

  • Among mature adults, in the 45-59 age group, 43% failed to find work during at least the 2¼ years included in the study. Of jobseekers without English language proficiency, the figure was 61%.
    Source _ The Australian 20 October 1998 "Stagnant job market takes long-term toll" by Ian Henderson

  • The latest Australian Bulletin of Labour reports that there are 10 people for each advertised job in Australia. The bureau reports that the UV (unemployment to vacancy) ratios differ considerably from state to state. In Tasmania, for example, there are 36 jobseekers for every job vacancy, while in Western Australia it is 5.9, and Northern Territory 2.7.

  • Meanwhile, research from the National Institute of Labour Studies suggests that while it may seem the workplace has never been so insecure, Australians are staying in their jobs longer than they were 20 years ago. The percentage of the workforce measured as mobile had dropped from 25% to 21% since 1975. Similarly, the proportion of people who were in jobs of less than one year's duration in 1975 was 23.1%; today it is 21.8%. The proportion in the same job for at least 10 years is 24.5% in 1998 compared with 20.4% in 1975.
    Source _ The Age 30 September 1998 "Nearly 10 go for every job"; Sydney Morning Herald 1 October 1998 "Both sides accused of letting down long-term jobless.;

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