Notes on the data: Labour force

Female labour force participation, 2011


Policy context:  The marked increase in female participation in paid work, especially in part-time work (at a time of decline in male participation), has been one of the most significant trends in Australian society over the last three decades. Women are both remaining in the work force longer (partly by delaying childbirth), and re-entering the workforce after childbirth, because of changes in social perceptions of the role of women and increased economic pressures on families. Labour force participation by women with infants and young children is also dependent upon them being able to access appropriate, affordable child care arrangements [1].


  1. Department of Treasury and Finance, Victorian Government (DTF). Addressing impacts of population ageing on labour force participation. (Strategic Policy Group preliminary report). Melbourne: DTF; 2005.

Notes:  Other labour force measures in this atlas (unemployment, labour force participation) have been compiled from data provided by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). As DEEWR do not produce small area estimates of female labour force participation, this indicator has been calculated from data in the ABS Population Census.

As this data is based on self-reported labour force participation, and not subject to the criteria for labour force participation applied by the ABS in the Labour Force Survey and utilised by DEEWR in their estimates, it will not necessarily be consistent with the data for total labour force participants.


Numerator:  Females aged 15 years and over in the labour force


Denominator:  All females aged 15 years and over


Detail of analysis:  Per cent


Source:  Compiled by PHIDU based on the ABS Census 2011 data.


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