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December 8 2011 - 1.7 million Australians over 18 are prevented from working as much as they want for a variety of reasons, according to a new Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) study.

The study, based on June 2011 figures show that most (1.4 million) of these people were unemployed and wanted a job. A further 273,500 normally worked fewer than 16 hours each week and wanted to work for additional hours.

454,000 women were not in the workforce but wanted a job and were available to take up work - but they were not looking. Of these, 115,000 were not looking because they were caring for children. Their most common justifications were:

  • that they preferred to look after their children (42%)
  • their children were too young for childcare (23%)
  • no available childcare (15%)

Further details are available in Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation, Australia, July 2010 to June 2011 (cat. no. 6239.0).

Underemployed Part-time Workers

A survey of part-timers conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in September 2010 found that almost three quarters of a million (733,900) were underemployed.

This figure represents almost a quarter (22%) of all part-time workers in Australia. More than half (55%) of those who considered themselves to be underemployed would have preferred to work full-time - at least 35 hours per week.

In fact, over a half of part-time workers were seeking more hours of work. Most commonly, they were trying to find more work by:

  • asking their current employer (62%)
  • contacting a prospective employer (53%)
  • searching the internet (51%)

59% of all underemployed part-time workers indicated that they would have preferred to work more hours with their present employer.

The longest durations of underemployment tended to be experienced by older workers. 52%% of underemployed part-time workers aged 55 years or over and 49% of those aged 45-54 years, had been underemployed for one year or more. This compared with the 25% of underemployed workers aged 15-19 years who had been underemployed for a year or more.

More information is available in Underemployed Workers, Australia, September 2010 (cat. no. 6265.0) available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.


PHR/SPHR: Professional in Human Resources Certification Study Guide
by Sandra M Reed and Anne M. Bogardus

Must-have preparation for those looking to take the PHR or SPHR certification exams in order to strengthen their resume.

PHR Study Guide 2017

PHR Study Guide 2018: PHR Certification Test Prep and Practice Questions for the Professional in Human Resources Exam

The Future of Human Resource Management

The Future of Human Resource Management: 64 Thought Leaders Explore the Critical HR Issues of Today and Tomorrow
Edited by Mike Losey, Dave Ulrich, Sue Meisinger

  Like its bestselling predecessor before it, this offers the very best thinking on the future of HR from the most respected leaders in the field.

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