Objective 1 - Helping job seekers find and keep a job

Employment provides a range of benefits to individuals, their families and the broader Australian community. Having a job means a better standard of living. People who participate in work are generally healthier than those who do not. Employment facilitates better links to the community, increased social interaction and enhanced self-esteem.

The jobactive program and other employment services are designed to help people find and stay in work and to build their skills and employability.

Achieving performance targets, particularly job placements and employment outcomes, is strongly influenced by labour market conditions. This is demonstrated by the close relationship between the department’s internet job vacancy index, which measures the number of online job advertisements each month, and the count of job placements in jobactive (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Number of job placements in jobactive compared with the number of job advertisements, 2009–10 to 2017–18
Figure 2. Number of job placements in jobactive compared with the number of job advertisements, 2009–10 to 2017–18

Graph information - Figure 2.

Although employment growth over the past 12 months was above the decade annual average growth rate, there was a flattening of employment growth in the second half of 2017–18. This affected the employment opportunities for job seekers participating in jobactive and other employment services.

Table 1. Results for Objective 1
Indicator Target Result
Count of job placements 380,000 overall
38,000 Indigenous
351,647
35,668
Proportion of job placements sustained to four weeks 55% overall
55% Indigenous
65.3%
61.2%
Proportion of job placements sustained to 12 weeks 45% overall
45% Indigenous
58.3%
51.8%
Proportion of job placements sustained to 26 weeks 25% overall
25% Indigenous
41.3%
33.4%
Proportion of job seekers employed three months following participation in employment services
Stream A* 55% 59.1%
Stream B* 35% 43.4%
Stream C* 25% 27.2%
Overall 45% 49.5%

Count of job placements (overall and Indigenous)

When a job seeker finds a job—or is placed into work by a jobactive provider—the provider can record a job placement on the department’s information technology system. Data for this measure is sourced from administrative data, measuring the total count of job placements recorded under jobactive. The department reports publicly on this measure each year.

The department set an overall target of 380,000 job placements in 2017–18, and 351,647 job placements were recorded. This represents 92.5 per cent of the overall job placement target, and compares to the 370,318 job placements recorded in 2016–17.

The department did not achieve its performance target as the number of job placements achieved is not within five per cent of the target. As noted above, there was a flattening-out of employment growth in the second half of 2017–18 and this has affected the attainment of the job placement targets.

For Indigenous job seekers, the department set a parity target of 38,000 job placements in 2017–18. Indigenous job seekers comprise around 10 per cent of the number of jobactive participants, so the job placement target was set at 10 per cent of the overall job placement target.

In 2017–18, 35,668 job placements were recorded for Indigenous job seekers – 93.9 per cent of the target. This represents a five per cent improvement over 2016–17 when 33,966 job placements were recorded for Indigenous job seekers.

The department did not achieve its performance target as the number of job placements achieved for Indigenous job seekers is not within five per cent of the target.

While the Indigenous job placement target was not attained, the number of Indigenous job placements exceeded parity – that is, more than 10 per cent of job placements were for Indigenous job seekers.

Proportion of job placements sustained to four, 12 and 26 weeks 

The extent to which job placements convert into four, 12 or 26 week paid outcomes indicates whether placements enable job seekers to find and stay in work.

In 2017–18, jobactive exceeded all six performance targets for all job seekers and Indigenous job seekers for the second consecutive year.

Under jobactive, providers receive outcome payments for the job seekers they are helping to remain in work. There are three main types of outcome fees:

  • If a job seeker remains employed for four weeks after a job placement is recorded, and: 
    • reduces their income support payments by an average of at least 60 per cent, or
    • works a requisite number of hours in employment, the provider receives a four-week outcome payment. 
  • If a job seeker remains employed for 12 weeks after a job placement is recorded—and continues to reduce their income support payments by at least 60 per cent or works a requisite number of hours in employment—the provider receives a 12-week outcome payment.
  • If a job seeker is employed for 26 weeks after a job placement is recorded—and reduces their reliance on income support by 100 per cent or works a requisite number of hours in employment—the provider receives a 26-week outcome payment.

Reduced working capacity is considered for those with partial work capacity or those who are primary carer parents.

Administrative data is used for these measures. They are calculated as the proportion of job placements recorded by jobactive providers that convert to paid four, 12 and 26-week outcomes. The department reports publicly on this measure each year.

Proportion of job seekers employed three months after participating in jobactive 

Under jobactive, eligible job seekers are assisted through one of three streams that correlate with differing levels of labour market disadvantage.

The most job ready job seekers are assisted through Stream A. They receive services to help them understand what employers want and how to navigate the local labour market, build a résumé, look for jobs and learn how to access self-help facilities. Stream A job seekers receive case management support after six months in jobactive.

Stream B job seekers have some barriers to employment (for example they may have low levels of educational attainment or a disability). These job seekers need their jobactive provider to help them become job ready, and will receive case management support.

The most disadvantaged job seekers are assisted through Stream C. These job seekers often have a combination of vocational and non-vocational barriers that need to be addressed before they are ready for employment. This may include low work capacity, physical or mental health issues, or substance abuse. Stream C job seekers receive case management support to help them take up and keep a job.

The department measures the employment status of job seekers three months after their participation in jobactive through a post-program monitoring survey. Those surveyed may be on the jobactive caseload or may have exited jobactive when selected for the survey. Post program monitoring survey data is published regularly in the quarterly Employment Services Outcomes Report. It provides information that is not available from the Department of Jobs and Small Business’s administrative data, such as:

  • the employment and education status of job seekers who have exited or who are still in employment services
  • the employment status of job seekers who did not achieve a paid employment outcome but who were otherwise employed (such as part-time employment)
  • whether the job seeker is actively searching for work, and
  • whether the job seeker was satisfied with the services received.

The department has set an overall program target and a target for each stream to reflect the different job seekers serviced in jobactive. In 2017–18, 49.5 per cent of job seekers were employed three months after participation in jobactive, exceeding the performance target. The overall employment rate also represents a considerable improvement in performance over 2016–17, when 48.5 per cent of job seekers were employed three months after participation in jobactive.

Encouragingly, employment rates have also improved over the past year for a range of disadvantaged job seekers, including the long-term unemployed (unemployed for 12 months or more), Indigenous Australians, culturally and linguistically diverse job seekers and people with a disability (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Proportion of job seekers from various cohorts employed three months after participation in jobactive, 2016–17 and 2017–18
Figure 3. Proportion of job seekers from various cohorts employed three months after participation in jobactive, 2016–17 and 2017–18

Graph information - Figure 3.

  • Sole Parent 2016-17 57.0% 2017-18 58.3%
  • Long Term Unemployed (Unemployed for 12 months or more) 2016-17 43.9% 2017-18 45.5%
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse 2016-17 43.1% 2017-18 43.5%
  • Ex-Offenders 2016-17 34.7% 2017-18 38.8%
  • Homeless 2016-17 33.5% 2017-18 35.3%
  • Indigenous 2016-17 33.6% 2017-18 34.6%
  • Refugees 2016-17 35.0% 2017-18 34.0%
  • People with Disability 2016-17 31.1% 2017-18 32.0%

The majority of job seekers in employment are working in part-time or casual jobs three months after participation in jobactive. Nearly one-quarter of employment gained by job seekers three months after participating in jobactive was full-time (see Figure 4). The rate of full-time employment has increased over the last year, from 22.5 per cent in 2016–17 to 23.3 per cent in 2017–18.

Figure 4. Employment type of employed job seekers three months after participating in jobactive, 2016-17 and 2017–18.
Figure 4. Employment type of employed job seekers three months after participating in jobactive, 2016-17 and 2017–18.

Graph information - Figure 4.

  • Full Time 2016-17 22.5% 2017-18 23.3%
  • Part Time 2016-17 26.1% 2017-18 26.1%
  • Permanent 2016-17 36.6% 2017-18 35.6%
  • Temporary, casual or seasonal 2016-17 53.5% 2017-18 54.6%
  • Self-employed 2016-17 9.9$ 2017-18 9.9%

The department also uses a post-program monitoring survey to confirm the employment status of job seekers three months after a job placement is recorded by their jobactive provider. In 2017–18, 81.8 per cent of job seekers with a recorded job placement were still in employment after three months. This represents an improvement over 2016–17 when 78.8 per cent of job seekers with a recorded job placement were still in employment after three months.

Encouragingly, employment rates for job seekers with a recorded job placement have also improved over the past year for a range of disadvantaged job seekers, including the long-term unemployed (unemployed for 12 months or more), Indigenous Australians, culturally and linguistically diverse job seekers and people with a disability (see Figure 5).

Figure 5. Proportion of job seekers from various cohorts employed three months after being placed in a job, 2016–17 and 2017–18
Figure 5. Proportion of job seekers from various cohorts employed three months after being placed in a job, 2016–17 and 2017–18

Graph information - Figure 5.

  • Sole Parent 2016-17 82.6% 2017-18 86.7%
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse 2016-17 80.4% 2017-18 82.7%
  • Refugees 2016-17 78.1% 2017-18 82.2%
  • Long Term Unemployed (Unemployed for 12 months or more) 2016-17 75.0% 2017-18 79.2%
  • People with Disability 2016-17 73.6% 2017-18 76.6%
  • Ex-Offenders 2016-17 70.7% 2017-18 75.5%
  • Indigenous 2016-17 70.2% 2017-18 76.5%
  • Homeless 2016-17 73.1% 2017-18 73.9%