ABS Labour Market Trends and Long Term Unemployment

Dr Pourus Bharucha, Analyst, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will be presenting at the Long Term Unemployment Conference


The length of time that people remain unemployed is important, because the social and economic implications of unemployment differ depending on the duration.

This presentation will examine how the duration of unemployment experienced by Australians can be explored using the ABS Longitudinal Labour Force Survey Confidentialised Unit Record File.

This dataset combines labour force survey data for more than 150,000 households observed on a monthly basis, for up to eight months for each household between January 2008 and December 2010.

The presentation will use the dataset to examine the duration of unemployment and the distribution of duration across the population. Unemployment will be categorised into either completed spells or incomplete spells.

These categories allow the identification and characterisation of groups of unemployed people who are most likely to remain unemployed, and those who are likely to transition either into employment or out of the labour force.

Also, this presentation will examine which characteristics are associated with long-term unemployment (those with a duration of unemployment of 52 weeks or more). For those who enter employment, some of the characteristics of this employment will be described.

The main conclusion from the analysis is the clear difference in outcomes for the short-term and long-term unemployed. The longer people are unemployed, the more likely they remain unemployed. Those who experience longer durations of unemployment are more often looking for full-time work (and possibly also part-time work). However, relative to the short-term unemployed, the work they find is more likely to be part-time. Potentially, this is evidence that when the long-term unemployed find work, it does not exactly match what they were looking for. Using duration of unemployment, this presentation will highlights how the dataset can be used for socio-economic analysis or policy formulation.

About the presenter

Dr Pourus Bharucha is an analyst in the Labour Market Statistics section at the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Pourus studied science and pure mathematics at the ANU. After this, he joined Treasury, working on analysis of various apsects of the domestic economy. However he felt that the best way to inform any analysis or policy is to have robust data and ensure the broader community interprets it correctly. This passion led him to join the ABS in 2011, and he is thus also particularly happy to be at this conference.

ABS Labour Market Trends and Long Term Unemployment

Australian Long Term Unemployment Conference will be held on 18-19 August 2014, QT Hotel Surfers Paradise. The 2 day conference will feature keynote presentations, 4 streams and workshops on long term unemployment issues.

This conference will address the causes and programs needed to provide opportunities for at risk groups: Disability, Mature Age, Youth, Indigenous and Regional Unemployed.  It will focus on “Building Capability” to create employment in the future with over 50 presentations on research, policy, programs and case studies.

For more information about the conference please visit the website www.longtermunemployment.org.au or call the conference secretariat on 61 7) 5502 2068. Reminder! Please note the Early Bird ends on the 7th July 2014. Register online www.longtermunemployment.org.au