Latest ABS family survey shows jump in families with young children working full time

Latest ABS family survey shows jump in families with young children working full time

by Jason Roberts

October 08, 2019

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has confirmed that the proportion of families with children younger than five where both parents were working full time has increased 7 percentage points from 14 per cent in 2009 to 21 per cent in 2019. 


This announcement is likely to be of interest to the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector in Australia which is deemed to be a beneficiary of labour force trends that see an increase in workforce participation of both parents, particularly of a full time nature. 


In particular, long day care (LDC) and outside school hours care (OSHC) services are likely to see a pick up in demand for their services as more coupled families elect to work full time. 


Notably, the ABS confirmed that the proportion of mothers in coupled relationships that worked full time increased to 24 per cent in 2019 from 17 per cent in 2009.   


The level of detail contained within the release limits a deeper analysis into the changes in labour force trends on a yearly basis but the number and proportion of families electing to work full time appears to have accelerated in the period between 2014 and 2019 compared to the period 2009 to 2014. 


The ABS provides no signals as to what may have driven this increase but it is likely to be a combination of both social and economic factors as well as migration factors with the ultimate beneficiary from a service perspective being the ECEC sector as more families seek care for their children during work hours. 


For more information on this latest release please click here


For the data tables please click here