Source: The Australian, Wednesday October 4, 1995, p.5
By social affairs writer - MICHELLE GUNN 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 increased. 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 dependents. 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 force.
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