People living with psychotic illness 2010

10. Income and employment

Page last updated: November 2011

10.1 Income

Almost all participants were in receipt of some form of income. For 85.0%, their main source of income was a government payment (see table 10-1). The main form of government support was the Disability Support Pension, with almost three quarters (72.7%) of the total sample receiving this form of income support.

Three out of five (59.2%) participants had a net fortnightly income from all sources of between $500 and $799, with roughly equal proportions in lower and higher income bands than this (see table 10-2). This equates with the standard Disability Support Pension allocation for single people of $644.20 per fortnight (as at 1 July 2010), which is the main source of income for many people with psychotic llness.

There were no marked differences in income between males and females and the younger and older age groups.

Table 10-1. Sources of income

Table 10-1 is presented as a list in this HTML version for accessibility reasons. It is presented as a table in the PDF version.

Proportion of sources of income:
  • Any source of income (past year) - 98.8%
  • Main source of income is government pension (past year) - 85.0%
  • Disability Support Pension - 72.7%
  • Paid employment (past year) - 32.7%
  • Paid employment (current) - 21.5%

Table 10-2. Current net fortnightly income from all sources

Table 10-2 is presented as a list in this HTML version for accessibility reasons. It is presented as a table in the PDF version.

Proportion of current net fortnightly income from all sources:
  • Less than $300 per fortnight or missing - 9.0%
  • Between $300 – $499 per fortnight - 11.5%
  • Between $500 – $799 per fortnight - 59.2%
  • Between $800 – $1,000 per fortnight - 12.7%
  • More than $1,000 per fortnight - 7.6%
  • Total respondents - 1,825

10.2 Employment

One third of participants (32.7%) had been in paid employment over the past year, and one fifth (21.5%) in the week prior to interview (figure 10-1). By comparison, 72.4% of the general working age population (15-64 years) were employed in July 2010.22

Just over one quarter of participants (26.9%) had actively sought employment over the past year and 8.4% in the week prior to interview. In the week prior to interview, the labour force participation rate was estimated at 30.5%, under half that of the general population participation rate (65.3%), and the unemployment rate was estimated at 27.4%, five times that of the general population (5.0%).22

Three quarters (74.8%) of those participants who were employed were in the competitive job market, with 27.7% of all participants working full-time and 47.1% working part-time. Another 7.6% were self-employed.

Less than one in five (17.1%) were in sheltered, non-competitive employment, that is, in jobs in modified settings for people with a disability that were not fully competitive (figure 10-2).

Overall 69.0% were working part-time.

On average people worked 23 hours per week. Males were working more hours than females (26 compared to 20 hours per week), as were those in the younger age group compared to the older age group (25 compared to 22 hours per week). One quarter (27.5%) of participants would have preferred to work more hours.

The most common occupation for males was labourer (48.5%), followed by technician/trades worker (14.2%) and community/personal service worker (12.1%). For females, the two most common occupations were labourer and community/personal service worker (26.5% and 26.4%, respectively), followed by clerical/administrative worker (14.7%) and sales worker (14.3%).

The proportion of active job seekers was similar for males and females, with one quarter (27.5% and 26.0% respectively) seeking work. The proportion was, however, higher in the younger age group compared to the older age group (36.1% of 18-34 year olds and 20.2% of 35-64 year olds).

Just over half (56.2%) of those who were employed had told their employer about their mental illness. Females were less likely to disclose than males (48.1% compared to 61.4%, respectively) and younger people were less likely to disclose than older people (51.9% compared to 60.9% respectively).
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Figure 10-1. Employment status in past week and past year


Refer to the following table for a text equivalent of figure 10-1 Employment status in past week and past year

Text version of figure 10-1

Not employedEmployed
Past week
78.5%
21.5%
Past year
67.3%
32.7%
Working age population
27.6%
72.4%

Figure 10-2. Type of employment, for those employed in past year


Refer to the following list for a text equivalent of figure 10-2 Type of employment, for those employed in past year

Text version of figure 10-2

Type of employment, for those employed in past year:
  • Competitive full-time - 27.7%
  • Competitive part-time - 47.1%
  • Self-employed full-time - 2%
  • Self-employed part-time - 5.5%
  • Non-competitive full-time - 0.8%
  • Non-competitive part-time - 16.3%
  • Not known - 0.5%
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