Australian Attitudes to Unemployment and Unemployed People
Social security support for unemployed people in Australia in the last decade has become increasingly conditional on their demonstrating ever greater job search effort. Yet we know relatively little about whether this shift accords with public opinion. This paper draws on a study of community attitudes to unemployment and unemployed people, commissioned by the former Department of Social Security, based on review and analysis of attitudinal survey data. Overall the evidence is ambiguous. Although, by international standards, Australians take a relatively hard line on the responsibilities of unemployed people to actively seek work, there is little information available about views on the specifics of activity testing. Also, although a majority opposes greater public expenditure on unemployment, they still see an important role for government in addressing unemployment and supporting unemployed people.
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