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Workforce Participation Rates - How Does Australia Compare?


  • Joanna Abhayaratna
  • Ralph Lattimore

    (Productivity Commission)


A staff working paper on ‘Workforce Participation Rates: How Does Australia Compare?’ (by Joanna Abhayaratna and Ralph Lattimore) was released January 2007. With the population ageing and the associated shift in the age structure of the population towards older groups with lower workforce participation rates, Australia's future labour supply growth will decline in the absence of offsetting increases in participation rates. The study found that after adjusting for the effects of some varying international statistical practices, Australia's position, relative to other OECD countries, looks better. Even so, there are significant differences in participation rates for key age groups, notably prime aged men, women of child-bearing age and females nearing retirement. This implies scope to lift Australia's participation rates and economic growth. The views expressed in this paper are those of the staff involved and do not necessarily reflect those of the Productivity Commission.

Suggested Citation

  • Joanna Abhayaratna & Ralph Lattimore, 2007. "Workforce Participation Rates - How Does Australia Compare?," Staff Working Papers 0701, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:prodsw:0701

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yi-Ping Tseng & Mark Wooden, 2005. "Preferred vs Actual Working Hours in Couple Households," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2005n07, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
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    More about this item


    workforce; labour supply; workforce participation rate; ageing population; retirement; economic growth;

    JEL classification:

    • F - International Economics
    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics


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