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1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Work

Unemployment and long-term unemployment(a)
Graph Image for Unemployment and long-term unemployment(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Annual average.

Source(s): ABS Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001)

Long-term unemployed as a proportion of all unemployed - 2009(a)
Graph Image for Long-term unemployed as a proportion of all unemployed - 2009(a)

Footnote(s): (a) Annual average.

Source(s): ABS Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001)

LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT

People who are unemployed for long periods (for a year or more) may experience greater economic hardship than those who are unemployed for short periods. In addition, they may have more difficulties in finding employment because of the loss of relevant skills and because of employers' perceptions of their 'employability'.

In 2009, the annual average long-term unemployment rate was 0.8%, compared with 2.0% a decade ago. The long-term unemployment rate peaked at 3.7% in 1993, following the economic downturn of the early 1990s and has generally declined since then. More recently, though, the long-term unemployment rate increased slightly from 0.6% in 2008 to 0.8% in 2009.

In 2009, the number of long-term unemployed people averaged 94,000, and over half (57%) of these were men. This is an increase of 23,000 long-term unemployed people compared with 2008.

The risk of being unemployed for long periods tends to increase with age. In 2009, 8% of unemployed people aged 15-19 years were long-term unemployed, compared to 28% of those aged 55-59 or 60-64 years. This may partly reflect the higher prevalence of casual and short-term employment among young people, leading to more frequent but transitory periods of unemployment. In contrast, older people may cite employer attitudes as one of the reasons they are not able to find work (ABS 2004a).

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