Families Week facts and figures from the ABS (Media Release)

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May 12, 2008
Families Week facts and figures from the ABS

'Work and Family - getting the balance right' is the theme of National Families Week 2008 (11 May - 17 May), and the ABS has prepared the following snapshot of work and the Australian family.
  • More mothers with children under 15 were employed in March 2008 than at any time in the last decade; 63% were employed in March 2008, compared with 54% ten years earlier; 60% of these mothers worked part time.
  • 92% of fathers with children under 15 were employed in March 2008; 93% of these worked full time.
  • In 2006, mothers (with children under 15) in full-time employment spent on average 18 hours per week on domestic activities - twice as much as fathers employed full time.
  • Fathers employed full time spent on average 52 hours per week in employment-related activities compared to 34 hours per week for mothers employed full time.
  • Mothers in part-time employment spent on average 19 hours per week in employment-related activities, 19 hours caring for children, and 23 hours on domestic activities.
  • As employment among mothers has increased, so has formal child care use. In June 2005, 23% of children under 12 attended formal care, compared with 14% nearly a decade earlier (March 1996).
  • The proportion of children under 12 being cared for informally (including by relatives or friends), has remained fairly constant over the last decade at around 33-37%. Grandparents provided care for nearly 60% of these children in June 2005.
  • In 2006 there were 2.2 million grandparents who had grandchildren under 15. In a 12 month period, 83% of these grandparents had been babysitters for their grandchildren; 39% provided school holiday care; and 28% regularly looked after their grandchildren while the children's parents were at work.
  • In 2005, 83% of employed mothers with children under two used some form of working arrangement to help balance work and child care responsibilities; 44% of these employed mothers used flexible working arrangements, 39% used permanent part-time work, and 27% worked from home.
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of parents with children under 15 reported that they 'always or often' felt rushed or pressed for time.

Information sourced from Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery, Mar 2008, cat. no. 6291.0.55.001 and Labour Force data available on request, Child Care, Australia, June 2005, cat. no. 4402.0, How Australians Use Their Time, 2006,cat. no. 4153.0, Pregnancy and Employment Transitions,cat. no. 4913.0, and General Social Survey: Summary Results, Australia, 2006, cat. no. 4159.0, available for free download.