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6206.0 - Labour Force Experience, Australia, February 1997  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/08/1997   
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MEDIA RELEASE

August 1, 1997
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)
115/97

Female labour force participation continues to rise

While female participation in the Australian labour force has continued to increase, participation by men has remained steady, according to figures in Labour Force Experience, Australia, February 1997 released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Labour force participation of females aged 15 to 69 has steadily increased from 63 per cent in 1987 to 70 per cent in 1997. By comparison, the publication shows that 85 per cent of males aged between 15 and 69 were either working or looking for work during the 12 months to February 1997. This has remained relatively steady for all years since 1987.

Other findings show that, of the 12,739,300 civilians aged 15 to 69 years old, in the 12 months to February:
  • 77 per cent (9,866,100) were in the labour force at some time during the year with 56 per cent (7,170,300) working or looking for work for the full 52 weeks.
  • 72 per cent (9,186,600 people) worked at some time during the year, with 48 per cent (6,082,100) working for all 52 weeks. Males were more likely to work the full 52 weeks, with 71 per cent of males working for the whole year compared to 61 per cent of females.
  • 15 per cent (1,926,500) looked for work at some time during the year. Of these, 276,900 looked for work for 52 weeks with the largest proportion spending between 4 and 13 weeks looking for work (32 per cent or 613,400 people).
  • About 96 per cent of males with children under 15 participated in the labour force at some time during the year, compared with 81 per cent for males without children under 15.
  • For females, the rate of participation in the labour force at some time during the year was about the same for women with or without children under 15. However, 39 per cent of females with children under 15 participated in the labour force for the full 52 weeks, compared with 48 per cent of females without children under 15.
  • Of the 1,926,500 persons who looked for work at some time during the year 64 per cent of females and 62 per cent of males were aged 15-34 years. Of the persons who looked for work at some time during the year, 16 per cent of males and 13 per cent of females looked for worked for the whole 52 weeks.

Copies of the publication Labour Force Experience, Australia, February 1997 (cat. no. 6206.0) are available from ABS Bookshops.

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