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The Growth of Jobless Households in Australia

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  • Peter Dawkins
  • Paul Gregg
  • Rosanna Scutella

Abstract

Individual and household based aggregate measures of joblessness offer conflicting signals about labour market performance. This paper shows that while individual based measures of joblessness have remained fairly stable over the last 10 years or so and have fallen after highs in the early 1980s, household measures of joblessness have risen. Joblessness among the working age population has become more concentrated within certain households. In the past Australia’s non-working population (of working age) were supported in households where others worked whereas they are now primarily supported by welfare payments from the state. What is perhaps most striking is how many children now are living in households with no earned income. The incidence of jobless households falls disproportionately on households headed by those who are young or approaching retirement age, with little or no qualifications or born overseas. Many jobless households are single parents so they are also much more likely to be headed by a female. We also show that the poor are disproportionately represented in jobless households.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research in its journal Australian Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 35 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 133-154

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ausecr:v:35:y:2002:i:2:p:133-154

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References

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  1. Paul Gregg & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2004. "Two sides to every story: measuring the polarisation of work," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19959, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Boyd Hunter, 1995. "The Social Structure of the Australian Urban Labour Market: 1976-1991," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 28(2), pages 65-79.
  3. Marilyn McHugh & Jane Millar, 1996. "Sole Mothers in Australia: Supporting Mothers to Seek Work," Discussion Papers 0071, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
  4. Gregory, R.G. & Hunter, B., 1995. "The Macro Economy and the Growth of Ghettos and Urban Poverty in Australia," CEPR Discussion Papers 325, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  5. Ann Harding & Sue Richardson, 1998. "Unemployment and Income Distribution," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Guy Debelle & Jeff Borland (ed.), Unemployment and the Australian Labour Market Reserve Bank of Australia.
  6. Paul Gregg, 1996. "It Takes Two: Employment Polarisation in the OECD," CEP Discussion Papers dp0304, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Dawkins, Peter, 1996. "The Distribution of Work in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 72(218), pages 272-86, September.
  8. Paul W. Miller, 1997. "The Burden of Unemployment on Family Units: An Overview," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 30(1), pages 16-30.
  9. Miller, Paul & Volker, Paul, 1987. "The Youth Labour Market In Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 63(182), pages 203-19, September.
  10. Bob Gregory, 1999. "Children and the Changing Labour Market: Joblessness in Families with Dependent Children," CEPR Discussion Papers 406, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. David Johnson & Roger Wilkins, 2003. "The Effects of Changes in Family Composition and Employment Patterns on the Distribution of Income in Australia: 1982 to 1997-1998," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n19, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  2. Peter Dawkins & Paul Gregg & Rosanna Scutella, 2002. "Employment Polarisation in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2002n09, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  3. Vincent Corluy & Frank Vandenbroucke, 2012. "Individual Employment, Household Employment and Risk of Poverty in the EU. A Decomposition Analysis," Working Papers 1206, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  4. Productivity Commission, 2002. "Independent review of the Job Network," Labor and Demography 0210002, EconWPA.
  5. Nicolas Hérault & Guyonne Kalb & Rezida Zakirova, 2011. "Dynamics of Household Joblessness: Evidence from Australian Micro-Data 2001–2007," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n10, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  6. A. M. Dockery & Elizabeth Webster, 2001. "Long-term Unemployment and Work Deprived Individuals: Issues and Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 445, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  7. Matthew Gray & Lixia Qu, 2004. "Long work hours and the wellbeing of fathers and their families," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 7(2), pages 255-273, June.
  8. Deborah Cobb-Clark & Chris Ryan & Robert Breunig, 2005. "A Couples-based Approach to the Problem of Workless Families," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2005-454, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  9. Rosanna Scutella & Mark Wooden, 2006. "Effects of Household Joblessness on Subjective Well-Being," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2006n10, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  10. Sarah Brown & Lisa Farrel & John Sessions, 2006. "Self-Employment Matching: An Analysis of Dual Earner Couples and Working Households," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 155-172, 03.

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