2,999 research outputs found

    A tale of two nations: The divergent pathways for indigenous labour force outcomes in Australia and New Zealand since 1991

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    This paper compares labour market experiences of indigenous Australians and Maori since 1971 with a particular focus on the early 1990s where employment outcomes appeared to diverge dramatically. One way to enhance the interpretability of international comparisons is to examine what happened in urban and other areas because the globalised economy means that the labour market in major cities tend to track one another reasonably closely. It is also important to condition on the level of urbanisation in the respective countries because geography provides a rudimentary control for differing levels of acculturation and the historical experiences of colonisation. The analysis provides two main insights: first that Maori populations are more fully integrated into the New Zealand economy and business cycle than indigenous Australians are into the Australian economy. The second finding is that while Maori are performing very well in terms of employment growth, the prospect for future improvements may be constrained by unresolved cultural conflict embodied in the high ongoing rates of Maori arrest. While there is a similar level of cultural conflict between indigenous and other Australians, it is probable that the historical difference in the treatment of the respective indigenous populations is partially responsible for the different economic outcomes in the two nations

    Selected issues for closing the income gaps between Indigenous and other Australians, 2001-11

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    This paper charts recent changes in personal and household income by combining the first release census data for 2011 with community profiles for Indigenous and other households from the 2001 and 2006 Censuses. Changes in household size and housing cost are also explored in order to appreciate some of the changing pressures on family resources. Image: breahn / flick

    Income, work and education: insights for closing the gap in urban Australia

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    Existing analysis of the Closing the Gap outcomes is limited by the lack of adequate wage data for Indigenous Australians. This paper attempts to redress this situation by using a geography recently developed by the ABS - Significant Urban Areas - to document the crucial relationships between income, labour force status and education. Abstract: Many factors contribute to differences in an individual’s command over resources. One of the factors is differences in labour market engagement and the level of education attainment across different geographical areas. However, existing analysis of the Closing the Gap outcomes is limited by the lack of adequate wage data for Indigenous Australians. Using the newly introduced geography Significant Urban Areas (SUAs), which distinguish between major cities, regional centres and remote areas, this paper analyses average personal income while adjusting for labour force status and education levels. We impute average wage data by focusing on the personal income of people who are employed full-time and assuming that the average weekly personal income is a reasonable approximation of wages. The findings suggest that wage differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in urban areas are minimal after education attainment levels are adjusted for, with a gradient in wages according to the level of qualification. There are gender differences in wages in favour of men, both across SUAs and by education level. This is partly a reflection of the structure of employment and segregation in the labour market, which can reach as high as 40 per cent in some the SUAs. Considering the importance of wage data in the theory of economic development, it is essential that direct information on wages is collected in future surveys with a substantial sample of Indigenous Australians

    Indigenous Job Search Success

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    One important and under-researched aspect of labour market policy is the extent to which policy interventions are effective in modifying job search behaviour. Furthermore, there is little extant research on whether certain job search behaviours lead to labour market success. Our analysis uses the only existing largescale longitudinal survey of Indigenous Australians to examine the effects of job search behaviour over an 18-month period from March 1996. One major fi nding is that the introduction of the Job Search Diary during the survey period was effective in increasing search intensity—but this increase in intensity did not result in increased employment rates. Another finding is that the job search methods used were not generally related to the probability of fi nding and retaining employment when a range of other personal and regional factors are taken into account. Those with a greater level of search intensity (as measured by the number of jobs applied for) at the fi rst wave of the survey did have a signifi cantly higher probability of finding employment than those searching less intensely. However, search intensity is unrelated to the probability of job retention. Other factors, such as educational attainment, health status, region of residence and having been arrested, account for the majority of labour market success (or lack of it) among unemployed Indigenous job seekers.Job search; Indigenous; Labour market policy

    Unpacking the income of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians: wages, government payments and other income

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    Abstract: This paper compares the level and source of income for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians using data from the 2011 wave of the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey. Three sources of income are considered: wages and salaries; government benefits; and income from businesses, investments and other private transfers. Consistent with many previous studies, Indigenous Australians have, on average, lower total income than non-Indigenous Australians, with this difference being largest for those who are full-time employed. The difference is also larger for males than females. In terms of non-wage income, Indigenous men and women receive a much smaller proportion of income from other sources than their non-Indigenous counterparts (primarily business and investment income). This is particularly the case for those who are not in the labour force (NILF). Correspondingly, government benefits constitute a higher proportion of income for the Indigenous population than for the non-Indigenous population. This is true for both males and females, and for all labour force statuses, although the difference is largest for part-time employed and those who are NILF. Given that Indigenous people are also more likely to be unemployed than non-Indigenous people, they are more likely to be dependent solely on government payments as a source of income at any one time. The implications of these findings are discussed, as well as directions for future research

    The economic impact of the mining boom on Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians

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    This paper examines changes in Indigenous employment, income and housing costs to identify any localised ‘resource curse’ for Indigenous communities and the Australian population at large. Abstract Until the global financial crisis reduced Australian economic growth in late 2008, Indigenous employment had been increasing in both absolute and relative terms for over a decade. The effect of the international economic contraction has been mitigated by Australia’s booming mining sector, largely due to China’s growing demand for resources. Given that a substantial number of mining operations are on or near Indigenous land, the increase in mining investment may have disproportionately affected Indigenous communities. There are concerns that, in remote mining areas, the increases in housing costs generated by the mining boom mean that anyone who does not work in the mining industry, particularly those who rely on government benefits, will find it harder to afford housing. Localised inflationary tendencies can also affect people employed outside the mining sector, but one would expect that scarcity in the labour market would drive up wages in both mining and non‑mining jobs. This paper examines changes in Indigenous employment, income and housing costs to identify any localised ‘resource curse’ for Indigenous communities and the Australian population at large. The paper draws on data from recent censuses, the geographic location of mines and mining investment to identify some potentially important effects of the mining boom on Indigenous communities. The main finding is that the mining boom has improved employment and income outcomes, but increased average housing costs. While the average increase in income has generally offset the increase in costs, there is some evidence that housing stress for low-income households has increased as a result of the mining boom