Women in the recession examining Australia's hidden unemployed by ProQuest


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									Women	in	the	recession
examining	Australia’s	hidden	unemployed
David	Richardson,	Senior	Research	Fellow,	The	Australia	Institute

The Australia Institute was      up much more rapidly               women comprised 63 per
asked to examine the position    than women. However, to            cent of Australia’s hidden
of women in the recession by     be officially recorded as          unemployed, a figure that had
the National Foundation for      unemployed by the Australian       ranged between 63 and 66
Australian Women on behalf       Bureau of Statistics (ABS)         per cent during the previous
of Security4Women and the        you have to:                       decade. 1 However, for some
WomenSpeak Alliance.                                                of the critical age groups,
                                 •   have worked less than          they reached an even higher
One of the major findings in         one hour in the last week,     proportion. For example, in
the subsequent report was        •   had actively looked for        the 25 to 34-year-old group,
that women had already               work at any time in the        they comprised 80 per cent
been suffering from hidden           four weeks up to the end       of the hidden unemployed
unemployment prior to the            of the reference week and      and for the 35 to 44-year-old
recession so that the official       were available for work in     group, 77 per cent.
unemployment figures                 the reference week or
paint a distorted picture of     •   be waiting to begin a new      Many women do not even
the problems they face—              job within four weeks from     get included in the hidden
problems that worsened as            the end of the reference       unemployment figures but
we moved into recession.             week and could have            are defined as ‘outside the
This is a phenomenon that            started in the reference       workforce’. To be classified
needs to be more widely              week if the job had been       as ‘outside the workforce’
appreciated because                  available then.                means that an individual has
the same stereotypes                                                not sought work in the last
underlying the definitions       Many women do not fit these        month and is not available
of unemployment are also         criteria but may fit t
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