There were 10.9 million employed people aged 15 years and over in September 2009. Of these:
- 10 million (92%) were fully employed
- 899,500 (8%) were not fully employed of whom 811,600 were underemployed.
Of the 811,600 underemployed workers:
- 735,900 usually worked part-time but would prefer more hours and were available to start work with more hours either in the reference week, or in the four weeks following the interview
- 75,700 usually worked full-time but worked part-time hours in the reference week due to economic reasons (being stood down, on short-time, or having insufficient work).
Older Australian workers experience longer spells of insufficient work
On average, older Australian workers experience longer periods of underemployment, despite underemployment generally being more common among younger workers, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
In September 2009, almost half (48%) of part-time underemployed people aged 45-54 years, and 45% of those aged 55 years and over, had been underemployed for one year or more.
The average number of extra hours that underemployed part-time workers wanted rose from 13.4 hours per week in September 2008 to 14.1 in September 2009. However, the average number of hours usually worked by part-time underemployed people remained at 17 hours per week over the same period.
The main difficulties in obtaining more hours reported were ‘no vacancies in line of work’ (21%) and ‘no vacancies at all’ (16%).
Further details can be found in Underemployed Workers, Australia, September 2009 (cat. no. 6265.0).