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Why is job security lower for Maori and pacific island workers? The role of employer-provided training


  • John Gibson
  • Carolyn Watane


Maori and Pacific Island workers are more likely than other workers to transit from employment to unemployment whereas exit rates from unemployment are relatively less dispersed across ethnic groups. Hence, lack of job security appears to raise the unemployment rate for Maori and Pacific Islanders. This paper uses unit record data to examine one source of lower job security, which is that Maori and Pacific Island workers may receive less employer-provided training. The results suggest that training reduces employer-induced separations, but even controlling for training, and for age, years of schooling, gender, marital status and industry, there is an identifiable effect of Maori and especially Pacific Islanders experiencing higher involuntary job losses. Moreover, once the available characteristics of workers and their jobs are controlled for, Maori have the same incidence of training and may receive even more intensive training than do Pakeha workers. In contrast, Pacific Island and Other ethnic group workers have a significantly lower level of employer-provided training. Thus, job training does not explain all of the ethnic differences in involuntary unemployment rates and some ethnic minorities appear to receive a lower level of job training which cannot be explained by their known social characteristics and their occupation and industry. Of course there may be social characteristics for which we have not been able to control, which further explain part of the differences in experiences between the ethnic groups.

Suggested Citation

  • John Gibson & Carolyn Watane, 2001. "Why is job security lower for Maori and pacific island workers? The role of employer-provided training," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 1-24.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:nzecpp:v:35:y:2001:i:1:p:1-24
    DOI: 10.1080/00779950109544330

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