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Employment changes and job openings for new entrants in nursing and caring occupations in Australia


  • Chandra Shah

    () (Monash University)

  • Michael Long

    (Monash University)


The composition of the nursing and caring workforce in Australia has changed substantially over the last 15 years. The workforce has an older age profile, works shorter hours and employs substantially more carers. In spite of the ageing of the population and a substantial increase in the number of patient separations, the number of nursing workers employed per 100,000 population has not changed much from around 1100 during this period. This suggests nursing labour productivity has increased substantially, or nursing workers are being substituted with carers or quality of care has declined. Based on growth and net replacement projections and expected supply of nurse graduates from universities, a shortfall of 900 professional nurses per year is estimated in the absence of any policy changes or intake through immigration.

Suggested Citation

  • Chandra Shah & Michael Long, 2003. "Employment changes and job openings for new entrants in nursing and caring occupations in Australia," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 6(3), pages 453-472, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:6:y:2003:i:3:p:453-472

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Metcalf, 2002. "Unions and Productivity, Financial Performance and Investment: International Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp0539, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Stewart, Mark B, 1990. "Union Wage Differentials, Product Market Influences and the Division of Rents," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(403), pages 1122-1137, December.
    3. Disney, Richard & Gosling, Amanda & Machin, Stephen, 1996. "What Has Happened to Union Recognition in Britain?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(249), pages 1-18, February.
    4. Lars Calmfors, 1993. "Centralisation of Wage Bargaining and Macroeconomic Performance: A Survey," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 131, OECD Publishing.
    5. Brown, W & Hudson, M & Deakin, S & Pratten, C, 2001. "The Limits of Statutory Trade Union Recognition," Working Papers wp199, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    6. William Brown & Simon Deakin & David Nash & Sarah Oxenbridge, 2000. "The Employment Contract: From Collective Procedures to Individual Rights," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 611-629, December.
    7. W Brown & P Marginson & J Welsh, 2001. "The Management of Pay as the Influence of Collective Bargaining Diminishes," Working Papers wp213, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    8. Toke Skovsgaard Aidt & Vania Sena, 2005. "Unions: Rent Creators or Extractors?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(1), pages 103-121, March.
    9. Robert J. Flanagan, 1999. "Macroeconomic Performance and Collective Bargaining: An International Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1150-1175, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michelle Cunich & Stephen Whelan, 2010. "Nurse Education and the Retention of Registered Nurses in New South Wales," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(274), pages 396-413, September.

    More about this item


    Health; Labor Force and Employment; Size; and Structure (by industry; occupation; demographic characteristics; etc.) Time Allocation and Labor Supply (hours of work; part-time employment; temporary workers; work sharing; absenteeism; quits; work-life balance) Employment Determination; Job Creation; Demand for Labor; Self-Employment; Mobility; Unemployment; and Vacancies;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J69 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Other


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