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6265.0 - Underemployed Workers, Australia, Sep 2000  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/06/2001   
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June 26, 2001
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
New data on underemployed workers

One in five of Australia's 2.4 million part-time workers wanted to work more hours, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today. The figures are the result of a survey taken in September 2000.

The 437,400 people who usually worked part-time and wanted to work more hours represented just under 5% of the 9,138,200 people employed, a decrease of less than one percentage point from the 1999 figure.

Of the 437,400 part-time workers who wanted to work more hours, 189,200 had actually looked for more hours and were available to start more hours in the week prior to the survey.

As in previous years, the majority (62%) of the 437,400 people who worked part-time and wanted to work more hours were female. One-third of all part-time workers wanting to work more hours were under 25 years of age.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of part-time workers who wanted to work more hours reported that they would like to work full-time. Males were more likely to want full-time work (75%) than females (54%).

Other characteristics of part-time workers who wanted to work more hours were:
  • 58% had no post-school qualifications;
  • 10% were lone parents (almost all of whom were females);
  • 24% were born outside Australia.

The median duration of the current period of insufficient work for people who worked part-time and wanted to work more hours was six months (26 weeks for males and 27 weeks for females).

On average, those part-time workers looking for, or available for work with more hours, wanted an additional 16 hours each week. Males wanted to work more additional hours than females (17.8 hours and 14.9 hours respectively).

Further details can be found in the main features Underemployed Workers, Australia, September 2000 (cat. no. 6265.0). If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.

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