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Unemployment In Australia Essay

1624 words - 7 pages

Unemployment, particularly long term unemployment, is the most savage cause of poverty and disadvantage in our community. It is the cause of enormous personal and financial hardship for hundreds of thousands of people and their families. Unemployment is the greatest determiner of poverty and exclusion--and that is why the fight against unemployment is so critically important. However it is said that this battle can only result in victory by concentrating on providing jobs and opportunities rather than penalties or slogans.The importance of employment can only be explained, in that undertaking paid work fulfils many functions in our society. Employment is the main way of receiving money and ...view middle of the document...

People face a number of barriers to employment. The primary barrier is that there are not enough jobs for those who wish to undertake paid employment. In February 2002 there were still seven job-seekers for every job vacancy. There are also not enough supports available for people seeking paid work, such as access to affordable child care and rehabilitation or support mechanisms for people with disabilities. Also, paradoxically, people are often considered too young or too old by prospective employers, so age can also be a barrier to employment. Other barriers relate to where people are living. There are differences between rural and urban levels of unemployment, and also stark differences between suburbs in all major Australian cities.The unemployment rate is a figure produced monthly by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). An unemployed person is defined by the ABS as someone not in paid employment who is actively looking for work. Anyone who is doing paid work for at least one hour a week is not considered to be unemployed. Many people are marginally attached to the labour force--they want to work but are not actively seeking employment. Sometimes people stop looking for work because they are under the misleading impression that they won't be successful. These discouraged job seekers may believe they are too old, or too young, or do not possess the skills an employer would want. This is hidden unemployment. The other large group of people not represented in the statistics are those who are working but would prefer to work more hours, the underemployed. In February 2002, over 27 per cent of part-time workers wanted to work more hours .Three sources of data are used to calculate the figures representing the labour force in regard to unemployment. These involve the monthly labour force survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, statistics from the Job Network and statistics from Centrelink. Also, the Australian Bureau of Statistics take sit further in that they attempt to categorize the final statistics into sections involving age, region, sex, occupation and education.Currently, as previously mentioned, the Australian Bureau of Statistics states that the unemployment rate in Australia is approximately 6.3% and nevertheless, this figure does not encapsulate hidden employment. Unfortunately, anyone can become unemployed readily. Statistically, however, indigenous Australians, recently arrived migrants, people with disabilities, young people and older workers who have been retrenched are most likely to be unemployed. People living in remote and rural communities also have higher rates of unemployment. The graph above shows the percentages of people in different age groups who were unemployed and looking for work in March 2002. Youth unemployment is very high across Australia. There are, however, fewer young people looking for work than in the past, as more undertake education and training before entering into the job...

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