ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
This publication presents information about the labour force status and other characteristics of 'migrants'. For the purposes of this publication, migrants are defined as people who were born overseas, arrived in Australia after 1984, were aged 15 years and over on arrival, and have permanent Australian resident status. Information is also provided for people who were temporary residents who planned to stay in Australia for 12 months or more. See the Glossary for more information.
The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Migrants survey that was conducted throughout Australia in November 2004 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS).
NOTES ABOUT THE ESTIMATES
A number of new data items relating to the residency status (including visa types) of the respondent have been included in this publication. These are 'Residency status as at November 2004', 'Residency status on most recent arrival to live in Australia', 'Type of visa as at November 2004', 'Type of visa on most recent arrival to live in Australia', 'Type of permanent visa before becoming an Australian citizen', 'Whether an Australian citizen as at November 2004' and 'Whether main applicant or whether arrived with main applicant'. The data items 'Whether had family or friends in Australia just before migration', 'All family in Australia just before migration' and 'Migration category' used in the 1999 publication have been dropped as the information was not collected in the 2004 survey.
As estimates have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Labour Market Section on Canberra (02) 6252 7206.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
In November 2004, the Australian civilian population aged 15 years and over comprised 15,745,200 people (excluding institutionalised people and boarding school pupils; and people in very remote parts of Australia). Of these people 4,342,600 (28%) were born overseas.
There were 1,559,700 people who were born overseas, arrived in Australia after 1984, and were aged 15 years and over on arrival. This represents 10% of the civilian population aged 15 years and over. Of these, 1,362,600 (87%) were migrants, that is, people who were born overseas, who arrived in Australia after 1984, were aged 15 years and over on arrival and had obtained permanent Australian resident status prior to or after their arrival. The remainder were either temporary residents who planned to stay in Australia for 12 months or more (11%) or those whose status was not able to be determined (2%).
Of those overseas born people who arrived in Australia after 1984 and were aged 15 years and over on arrival, 61% were the main applicant on the application form.
In November 2004, there were 1,362,600 migrants. The majority (68%) were born in other than main English speaking countries, and most (87%) were aged 15-44 years on arrival in Australia.
There were 337,300 migrants who had a temporary visa on their most recent arrival to live in Australia, and had obtained a permanent visa by November 2004. Of those who had obtained a permanent visa, 45% were in the family stream.
In November 2004, 66% of migrants were employed, compared to 64% of those born in Australia. Of those migrants who were employed, 73% had a job just before arrival, and approximately 56% of these had changed their major occupation grouping since arriving in Australia. Male migrants were more likely to be employed (80%) than female migrants (55%).
In November 2004, the unemployment rate for migrants was 5.6% and 4.9% for those born in Australia. The rate for male and female migrants was 5.1% and 6.2% respectively. This compares with 4.9% for males and females born in Australia.
Labour force participation
The labour force participation rates for male and female migrants were 83.9% and 58.6%. For males and females born in Australia, participation rates were 74.7% and 60.2% respectively.
Migrants who were born in main English-speaking countries had a higher participation rate (78.9%) than those born in other than main English-speaking countries (66.2%).
Just over half (51%) of migrants arrived in Australia without a non-school qualification. Of the 661,100 who arrived with a non-school qualification, 57% arrived with a Bachelor Degree or higher and 54% had their overseas qualifications recognised in Australia.
This page last updated 27 May 2008