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Determinants of the Labour Force Status of Female Carers


  • Matthew Gray

    () (The Australian Institute of Family Studies)

  • Ben Edwards

    (The Australian Institute of Family Studies)


In Australia, as in other countries, people who have significant responsibilities for caring for a person with a disability or long-term health problem have lower employment rates than those without caring responsibilities. This paper uses data from the 2006 Families Caring for a Person with a Disability Survey to estimate the determinants of the labour force status of carers. While carers do have relatively low employment rates, over half of the carers who are not employed say they would like to be in paid employment. The major factors that are associated with lower rates of employment for female carers were having a low level of educational attainment, poor health of the carer, providing full-time care, caring for a child with a disability and not having people outside the household to provide support.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Gray & Ben Edwards, 2009. "Determinants of the Labour Force Status of Female Carers," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 12(1), pages 5-20, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:12:y:2009:i:1:p:5-20

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James Giesecke & G.A. Meagher, 2008. "Modelling the Economic Effects of Population Ageing," Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers g-172, Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre.
    2. Shah, C & Burke, G, 2005. "Skills Shortages: Concepts, Measurement and Policy Responses," Australian Bulletin of Labour, National Institute of Labour Studies, vol. 31(1), pages 44-71.
    3. Peter B. Dixon & Maureen T. Rimmer, 2006. "The Displacement Effect of Labour-Market Programs: MONASH Analysis," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(s1), pages 26-40, September.
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    More about this item


    Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Time Allocation and Labor Supply; Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy


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