This paper examines 1996 and 2001 Census data to establish recent changes in Indigenous and non-Indigenous employment and income status in the Northern Territory. Also explored are some of the constraints and opportunities facing Indigenous people in their effort to increase their share of Territory income and raise their levels of participation in the labour market. The paper builds on previous analyses of Indigenous employment and income indicators for the Northern Territory, providing a window on recent trends in relative economic status. This time series is then extended by projecting the Indigenous working-age population and likely employment outcomes to 2011, in an attempt to estimate the scale of the task ahead for Indigenous people and governments as they attempt to raise Indigenous economic status. The findings suggest that the scale of this task is growing with time-Indigenous employment in the mainstream labour market is trending downwards along with the overall level of labour force participation, while the income gap between Indigenous and other Territory residents is widening. Given projected expansion of the working age population, the numbers in work need to rise just to keep the already low employment rate from falling further. The Northern Territory has a serious economic development problem-around one fifth of its resident adult population remains impoverished, structurally detached from the labour market, and ill-equipped to engage with it.
ISBN: 0 7315 5621 6