People are staying unemployed for longer, new ABS research finds

The average Australian jobseeker spent 17 weeks unemployed in 2013, according to a new study from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

In a statement released January 15, the ABS confirmed that 17 weeks was the median duration of unemployment for unemployed people in July 2013, up from 14 weeks in July 2012.

Interestingly, the unemployment duration was found to be significantly longer for men. ABS Director of Labour Force and Supplementary Surveys Stephen Collett says that unemployed men spent an average of 18 weeks looking for work in 2013, compared to just 15 weeks for women.

"Around 1.7 million people had started their current job in the last 12 months to July 2013. Nearly a quarter of these people (20 per cent) searched for less than a month before starting their job while 34 per cent did not look for work," said Mr Collett.

"Only 5 per cent who had started a job had looked for work for one year or more. Of those people who had started a job in the last 12 months, 10 per cent had started their own business."

According to Mr Collett, there are a number of reasons why people have difficulty finding work in a timely manner. The most commonly reported by the unemployed individuals that the ABS surveyed was an excess of applicants in relation to the number of available jobs.

While most recruitment agencies might view this disparity between available candidates and positions that need filling as a positive thing, it can also cause headaches for any organisations not utilising recruitment software.

Because recruitment software is capable of assessing available candidates by a variety of factors, it is perfect for cutting through an excess of jobseekers to the right individual is paired to the job most suited to their skills and experience.

The unemployment rate in Australia stood at 5.8 per cent during December, according to the latest figures from the ABS.

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