Source: The Australian, Wednesday October 4, 1995, p.5

Two incomes support most families

By social affairs writer - 
   THE two-income family is 
becoming even more entrenched, 
with more than 2 million 
Australian families having both 
parents in employment. 
   A new Australian Bureau of 
Statistics report reveals the 
number of young families with 
both parents working has jumped 
5 per cent in the past year. 
   The report, which provides a 
snapshot of the job status of 
Australian families, shows 58 per 
cent of two-parent families with 
dependent children now have 
both partners working. 
   This compares to 45.4 per cent 
a decade ago. 
   But the survey, taken in June, 
also reveals a significant drop in 
the number of families with at 
least one parent unemployed - 
from 9.9 per cent last year to 8.3 
per cent. 
   The ABS survey says there were 
4,051,400 two-parent, or couple 
families, in Australia in June. 
Less than half of them had 
dependent children and, of these, 
92 per cent had at least one 
parent working. 
   The survey found the husband 
was employed full-time in more 
than four-fifths of these families. 
The wife had a full-time job in 
almost one-third of the cases, 
although there was a noticeable 
variation in this percentage as 
the age of the youngest children 
   In two-parent families without 
dependent children, 42 per cent 
or 869,000 had both spouses 
working and 36 per cent had 
neither spouse in the work force. 
   The survey also revealed a 
continuing rise in the number of 
one-parent families. 
   There were 666,000 this year, 
compared to 627,300 in 1994 
and just 361,100 in 1990. 
   As a percentage of the total 
number of families, those with 
just one parent now account for 
14 per cent compared to 8.1 per 
cent five years ago. 
   Of the 666,000 single-parent 
families living in Australia, 
463,800 have one or more 
   In almost half of these families 
the parent is employed. 
   The overwhelming majority 
(85 per cent) of one-parent 
families are headed by a female 
parent, the report says. 
   Twenty-two per cent of these 
women were in full-time 
employment, 22 per cent were 
employed part-time, and 47 per 
cent were not in the labour force. 
   For male lone parents, 58 per 
cent were employed full-time 10 
per cent worked part-time and 22 
per cent were not in the labour 

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