The recent release of the final results for the 2001 Census presents an opportunity to assess the net change in employment outcomes for Indigenous Australians for the period covering the first two Howard administrations. This paper uses demographic techniques to make valid comparisons over time, and hence facilitate estimates of future employment levels against projected population growth. The 2001 Census data reveal no improvement in the overall position of Indigenous people in the labour market since 1996. Because of a growing Indigenous working-age population, new estimates of future job growth point to a lowering of employment rates and rising unemployment over the remainder of this decade. Overall, the current fiscal cost of this failure to eradicate Indigenous employment disparity is massive-in 2001 it was estimated to be around 0.5 per cent of Australian Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Findings from this new analysis indicate that the cost will be even higher in the future.
ISBN: 0 7315 5626 7