One in Two People Starting a Job Were Previously Out of Work

April 15 2003 - An Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report shows that just over half (52%) of the 1.6 million workers who started their present jobs in the year up to July 2002 were out of work prior to beginning that job. Another 40% had changed employer to start their current job - the remainder (8%) being employed in their own businesses.

Looking at those who were out of work before starting their present job, ABS found that 58% wrote, phoned or applied in person to an employer for work. This proportion was slightly higher than the corresponding 50% of employed people changing employer who used the same methods.

Almost two-thirds (63%) of employed people who started their current job in the previous twelve months were working full-time in that job. Of those who usually worked part-time hours, over one-third (39%) would prefer to work more hours.

554,800 people aged 15 and over were unemployed in July 2002. 76% of them were looking for full-time work. More men (86%) were seeking full-time work than women (62%).

Most commonly reported main difficulties in finding work for unemployed people were:

* too many applicants for available jobs (15%);
* considered too young or too old by employers (13%);
* insufficient work experience (11%); and
* lacked necessary skills or education (11%).

Just over a quarter (26%) of unemployed people had been unemployed for one year or more (ie, were 'long-term unemployed'). The majority (84%) of long-term unemployed people were seeking full-time work.

A fifth (20%) long-term unemployed people reported being 'considered too young or too old by employers' as their main difficulty in finding work. Other difficulties experienced were 'lacked necessary skills or education' (16%) and 'own ill health or disability' (12%).

Further information is in Job Search Experience, Australia, July 2002 (cat. no. 6222.0).