Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Looking for work? Expect to wait 10 weeks.

If you're unfortunate enough to lose your job, expect to be out of work for around 10 weeks.

The Bureau of Statistics says that's typical length of unemployment for men. For women, it's 9 weeks. And you stand a one in eight chance of losing your replacement job within months.

The Bureau's Survey of Labour Force Experience, released yesterday, paints a more frightening picture than the official unemployment total of 664,100.

It finds that over the course of the year to February a total of 1.7 million Australians found themselves out of work at some point - around one in every seven of the Australians prepared to work.

Fewer than 118,000 were out of work for the entire year, but the chance of finding a new job quickly depends very much on who's looking.

Teenagers get new jobs the most quickly, typically returning to work in 8 weeks. But roughly half of those who succeed find themselves out of work again within a year - around 18,000 of them four or more times.

Women have about as much success as men in getting new jobs until they turn 55 when they find it far harder...

A man who's out of work aged 55 or more is likely to find a new job within 13 weeks. A woman will wait 16 weeks. There's an even-money chance she'll still be out of work after a year.

Marriage appears to be an advantage when it comes to hanging on to jobs for both men and women with singles facing a 14 per cent chance of unemployment during the year compared to marrieds with just 6 per cent.

Unemployment is the most likely in NSW and Victoria where the chances are 15 per cent and 14 per cent and the least likely in the ACT where the chance is 9 per cent.

By contrast the current official unemployment rates in NSW and Victoria at 6.1 and 5.8 per cent and in the ACT, 3.8 per cent.

This suggests that the likelihood of spending some time out of work in a twelve month period is roughly three times the official unemployment rate.

Westpac warned of more job losses to come yesterday, releasing a quarterly labour demand indicator predicting job looses of 6,000 per month for the rest of this year with the risk of a substantial fall of 27,000 in August to offset the surprise 32,000 rebound in July.

Australia has lost 117,000 full-time jobs so far this year, offset by the creation of 109,000 new part-time jobs.

Published in today's SMH

Graphic: Allstaff Contract Services