Underemployed waiting longer more work

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By Leith van Onselen

The ABS quarterly labour force data for November 2013 showed a continued rise in labour underutilsation, which hit a 14.5 year of 13.6% in trend terms (see next chart).

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Today, the ABS has released new data showing that underemployed Australia’s are waiting longer to find more work, with the median duration of insufficient work of Australia’s underemployed part-time workers increasing to 30 weeks in 2013, up from 26 weeks in 2012:


Of the 912,200 part-time workers, just over a quarter (26 per cent) stated they would prefer to work more hours, with over half of these (55 per cent) preferring to find full-time work (35 hours or more)…

This was a significant increase to the 24% of part-time workers who said they would prefer to work more hours in September 2011 and 2012…

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Underemployed part-time workers are people who usually work less than 35 hours a week, would prefer to work more hours and are available to start work with more hours within four weeks. In September 2013, there were 817,200 underemployed part-time workers, a significant increase of 86,300 from 2012.

Yet another indication that the Australian labour force is soft.

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About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.