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Who Benefits from Growth? Disadvantaged workers from growing regions


  • Bill Mitchell

    (University of Newcastle)


Despite Australia enjoying unprecedented growth since the early 1990s, pockets of socio-demographic and regional disadvantage persist. Studies of disadvantaged workers often focus on regions experiencing employment decline; this paper instead explores how disadvantaged workers have fared in expanding labour markets. How much do workers at the bottom end of the labour market benefit from employment growth? Are policies that focus on the delivery of employment growth sufficient for determining labour market outcomes, or is continuing disadvantage a reflection of personal characteristics? At the aggregate level, high growth regions appear to have had more equitable rates of growth across occupations relative to low or medium growth regions. However growth in the late 1990s has not significantly altered the structure of labour market disadvantage and the gap in the relative probabilities of unemployment between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged participants persists. This is particularly so for labour market participants with low English proficiency, in state housing, renting and non-metropolitan Australians, and the trend is more pronounced amongst females.

Suggested Citation

  • Bill Mitchell, 2006. "Who Benefits from Growth? Disadvantaged workers from growing regions," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 9(2), pages 239-255, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:9:y:2006:i:2:p:239-255

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    More about this item


    Labor Force and Employment; Size; and Structure (by industry; occupation; demographic characteristics; etc.) Urban; Rural; and Regional Economics; Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population Regional Economic Activity: Growth; Development; and Changes Mobility; Unemployment; and Vacancies;

    JEL classification:

    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General


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