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Australians want more hours

In the last decade more Australians are reporting that they’re underemployed – that they want more work hours.

That’s according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data released on Monday. In 2009 7.6 per cent of Australia’s total labour force reported they were underemployed – this has risen to 8.2% in 2019. This year there were more than one million Australians reporting they were underemployed. 

Of those who said they were underemployed in 2019, 46 per cent reported they’d worked insufficient hours for a year or longer.

The ABS data shows that the median duration of underemployment is now at 39 weeks, an increase from 26 weeks in 2009.

Locally, the Advocate reported that there were more underemployed people in our state than the entire Devonport population. (The Advocate, July 8) – 10.7 per cent of the 247,400 Tasmanians who are employed.

“Working people need enough hours to be able to plan and live decent lives.

“But nearly half of the more than one million people who can’t get these hours have been underemployed for more than a year.

“For many working people, part-time work, whether it’s casual or permanent, is not a choice. These figures show that clearly.”

ACTU Secretary Sally McManus

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