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Education and work


People are unemployed if, during a specified reference period, they are:

  • employed for less than 1 hour,
  • actively seeking work, and
  • currently available for work.

Unemployment rate is the number of unemployed people as a proportion of the labour force, and does not include those who are not in the labour force.

In 2018–19, among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15–64:

  • 55,771 were unemployed.
  • The unemployment rate decreased with increasing age, from 26% (24,225) among those aged 15–24, to 10% (2,292) among those aged 55–64 (Figure EW 17a).
  • The unemployment rate was higher in remote areas (21% or 9,297) than in non-remote areas (18% or 46,870) (Figure EW 17b).

Long-term unemployment is defined here as unemployment of 12 months or more. Between 1994 and 2018–19, long-term unemployment among Indigenous Australians decreased from 14% to 6% (Figure EW 18).