There are a number of ways in which Aboriginal Employment Development Policy (AEDP) strategies implemented since 1987 have sought to increase the spread of Indigenous employment across the range of industries. This paper uses 1986 and 1991 Census data to measure whether change has occurred in the relative distribution of Indigenous employment. Dissimilarity between the distribution of Indigenous and other workers across broad industry categories increased slightly between 1986 and 1991. Put another way, the net outcome of employment changes over the intercensal period meant that Indigenous people became more reliant for work on relatively fewer areas of economic activity. A primary cause of this entrenchment in the labour market position of Indigenous people was the fact that jobs created by the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) scheme comprised the bulk of new employment growth. However, not all indications are negative. At the intra-industry level, for example, some signs of reduced segregation are evident. This is most apparent in agricultural industries, mining, transport, finance, public administration, recreation and personal services. In such industries, the employment distribution of Indigenous people is now more like that of the mainstream, although still notably dissimilar. Also apparent is the fact that relatively low segregation between workers observed in major cities has been sustained. In any event, it is inevitable that a degree of dissimilarity will exist between the industry distribution of Indigenous and non-Indigenous workers given their quite different population distributions.
ISBN: 0 7315 1770 9