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6289.0 - Australians' Employment and Unemployment Patterns, First Results, 1994-1996  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/05/1997  Ceased
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MEDIA RELEASE

May 12, 1997
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
61/97
One in four Australians look for work in a year

Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of Australians aged 16 to 60 looked for work at some time during the year ended September 1996, according to figures published today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Eighty-four per cent worked at some time, and 27 per cent spent time out of the labour market.

Within the same age range, about a third of people who were Jobseekers in May 1995 were working 4 months later. However, in subsequent months there was only a gradual increase in the number at work - 45 per cent in May 1996, and 48 per cent in September 1996.

Some 575,000 Jobseekers were reliant on government benefits as their main source of income in 1994-95. However, of these people, one third (35 per cent) were no longer in this situation the following year.

These characteristics of Jobseekers are drawn from Australians' Employment and Unemployment Patterns, First Results, 1994 to 1996, published today, which provides insight into the longer term labour market and social experiences of both Jobseekers and the general population. The figures are from the second year of a 'longitudinal' survey which collected information from the same group of people over the three years September 1994 to September 1997.

Other key findings include:
    • On average, over a twelve month period, people aged 16 to 60 will work for 39 weeks, look for work for 4 weeks, and spend 9 weeks out of the labour market.
    • People who were Jobseekers in May 1995 worked for an average of only 5 weeks in the six months to September 1995. In the six months to September 1996 the period spent working had risen to 12 weeks.
    • One in ten Jobseekers (88,000) spent the entire two year period from September 1994 to September 1996 looking for work without finding any.
    • 29 per cent of Jobseekers had moved house at least once in the year ended September 1996, almost double that of the general population (16 per cent).
    • Of Jobseekers who were a husband or wife in September 1995, 6 per cent were in a different living arrangement a year later - more than twice the rate of the general population.

Details are in Australians' Employment and Unemployment Patterns, First Results, 1994 to 1996, (cat. no. 6289.0) which is available from ABS bookshops.

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