Implicit in the aims of the Aboriginal Employment Development Policy (AEDP) and the Native Title Social Justice measures is a need to upgrade the occupational status of Indigenous workers and increase their spread across the range of industries. This need is acutely felt in the Northern Territory where Indigenous workers are disadvantaged by low occupational status and over-concentration in a few industries. Despite several years of policy implementation, there is little sign of economic convergence between Indigenous workers and others. This paper measures the difference in employment change between Indigenous and non-Indigenous workers between 1986 and 1991 and outlines the likely causes of increased job segregation. By calculating indexes of industry and occupational segregation, it also determines the precise composition of Indigenous employment in the Northern Territory and examines the reasons why duality persists as a distinguishing feature of the regional labour market. A downward revision of official figures on Indigenous employment in the private sector completes the analysis. While the prospects for reducing duality in the labour market appear gloomy, scope for improvement exists within existing policies and programs and official data may actually mask diversity in Indigenous employment.
ISBN: 0 7315 1757 1