Australia has managed to keep unemployment rates at lower rates than many other countries in the world. Still, unemployment in Australia has been a consistent problem for the Australian economy. With changes in the production patterns in Australia, there was loss of jobs in Australia which lead to lower job opportunities in the country. This increased unemployment in Australia. However extensive efforts have been undertaken in Australia to tackle the issue of unemployment and keep unemployment rates at low levels. Some of the major concern areas related to unemployment in Australia are long term unemployment, youth unemployment and lack of opportunities of employment for older workers.
Different countries follow different concepts for measuring unemployment. Australia, however, follows the globally accepted definition of unemployment. According to this, a person is considered unemployed if the following three conditions are fulfilled –
The person has not undertaken paid work for even one hour in the previous week.
According to this definition, people who are not actively looking for a job are not included in the unemployment computation in Australia.
After the World War –II, Australia maintained an unemployment rate of 1% to 2% for about twenty five years. During this period majority of the workers were men and women worked only till their marriage. Since the late 1970s, Australia has experienced average unemployment rates of around 7.5%. After 2003, Australia has been successful in maintaining unemployment rates below 6%. Between the late seventies and 2003, Australia had unemployment rates below 6% only twice - during the late 1980s and in the year 2000.
Unemployment in Australia is not uniform across all groups. People who have higher risk of unemployment in Australia are the youth, the immigrants and the single people. According to estimates of 2005, unemployment among married people was only 3%. On the other hand, unemployment rate of single people was almost four times that of married people. This might be caused by two reasons –
Unemployed people are less likely to get married.Single people have less financial pressure and therefore may be more tolerant towards unemployment.