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The Growth of Jobless Households in Australia

  • Peter Dawkins

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Paul Gregg

    (University of Bristol, H.M. Treasury and Centre for Economic Performance London School of Economics)

  • Rosanna Scutella

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

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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Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2001n03.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: May 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2001n03
Contact details of provider: Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
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  1. Paul Gregg & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2004. "Two sides to every story: measuring the polarisation of work," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19959, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Miller, Paul & Volker, Paul, 1987. "The Youth Labour Market In Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 63(182), pages 203-19, September.
  3. Dawkins, Peter, 1996. "The Distribution of Work in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 72(218), pages 272-86, September.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Paul Gregg, 1996. "It Takes Two: Employment Polarisation in the OECD," CEP Discussion Papers dp0304, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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