Indigenous Employment After the Boom -

Author/editor: Gray, MC, Hunter, B
Year published: 2016
Issue no.: 1


Analysis of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Social Survey data on Indigenous labour force status highlights the impact that the recent economic slowdown on Indigenous employment trends. At an aggregate level, the trends in Indigenous employment mirror those of the Australian population as a whole. It is clear that aggregate demand is the key driver of changes in Indigenous employment, rather than individuals' desire to work. During the period 2008 to 2014-15, although there was a move of Indigenous people out of the labour force as job opportunities dwindled, much of the move was into marginal attachment. That is, people still want to work, but some may have given up looking for work. This paper demonstrates that most Indigenous people want to participate in the economy and will take up available jobs provided that they are 'work ready'. Improving Indigenous employment outcomes requires that jobs are created and that policies support Indigenous people to acquire suitable skills so that they can work in those jobs. This latter challenge may be particularly pronounced in remote areas, where many Indigenous residents may not be able to comply with the 'activity requirements' for labour market programs.



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