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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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Suggested Citation

  • Peter Dawkins & Paul Gregg & Rosanna Scutella, 2002. "The Growth of Jobless Households in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(2), pages 133-154.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ausecr:v:35:y:2002:i:2:p:133-154
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul Gregg, 1996. "It Takes Two: Employment Polarisation in the OECD," CEP Discussion Papers dp0304, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Paul Gregg and Jonathan Wadsworth, 2004. "Two Sides to Every Story : Measuring the Polarisation of Work," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 04/03, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Apr 2004.
    7. Miller, Paul & Volker, Paul, 1987. "The Youth Labour Market In Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 63(182), pages 203-219, September.
    8. 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.
    9. Dawkins, Peter, 1996. "The Distribution of Work in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 72(218), pages 272-286, September.
    10. 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.
    11. Guy Debelle, 1998. "Introduction to Unemployment and the Australian Labour Market," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Guy Debelle & Jeff Borland (ed.), Unemployment and the Australian Labour Market Reserve Bank of Australia.
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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. 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, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Deborah Cobb-Clark & Chris Ryan & Robert Breunig, 2006. "A Couples-Based Approach to the Problem of Workless Families," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(259), pages 428-444, December.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Peter Dawkins & Paul Gregg & Rosanna Scutella, 2005. "Employment Polarisation in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(255), pages 336-350, December.
    8. A.M. Dockery & Elizabeth Webster, 2002. "Long-Term Unemployment and Work Deprived individuals: issues and Policies," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 5(2), pages 175-193, June.
    9. Scutella, Rosanna & Wooden, Mark, 2008. "The effects of household joblessness on mental health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 88-100, July.
    10. Productivity Commission, 2002. "Independent review of the Job Network," Labor and Demography 0210002, EconWPA.
    11. repec:esr:resser:bkmnext226 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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