Dynamic Labour Market or Work on the Wane? Trends in the Australian Labour Force 1966-1981

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Abstract
This study presents the outcomes of the changes that have taken place in the Australian labour force between 1966 and 1981. The method used in the study was to produce a matrix of four main variables: men, women, occupations and industries; and then relating these four variables to eight other variables: hours of work, full-time/part-time work, employment status, earnings, age, education, unemployment and mobility. The findings indicate that in the examined period there was an effective shift of approximately 660 thousand persons from industries which had shrunk in relation to the overall growth of the labour force, to industries which had expanded above the rate of growth of the labour force. There was a corresponding shift in the occupational structure to the extent of 560 thousand persons. In 1981, the majority of the labour force in the expanding occupations and industries was made up of women, while nearly two-thirds of all male labour force was still employed in the shrinking occupations and industries. Expanding occupations and industries employed the majority of the labour force with post-secondary educational qualifications. Hours of work in these occupations and industries were lower and earnings were higher than in the shrinking occupations and industries. The findings suggest that, should the identified trends in the labour force continue in the same direction, high rates of unemployment are likely to continue and even increase, especially among men. Above all, the trends indicate a distinct probability of increasing social and economic inequalities that are likely to be experienced by individuals and even more by entire households and families. This is seen as perhaps the most important issue arising out of the changes in the labour market and one that the social welfare policy-makers and the society as a whole will have to face.
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Jamrozik, Adam
Hoey, Marilyn
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Publication Year
1982
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Working Paper
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download Reports and Proceedings No 27.pdf 3.55 MB Adobe Portable Document Format
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