Labour market outcomes for Indigenous Australians


Recent research has identified a substantial increase in Indigenous mainstream employment since the mid-1990s, but there has been relatively little regional analysis of such employment. The aim of this article is to build on this previous research using the 2006 and 2011 censuses to provide a more disaggregated descriptive analysis of changes in the character of labour market outcomes for Indigenous Australians aged 15–64 years. One of the new findings in the article is that the employment of Indigenous youth (i.e. those aged 15–24 years) in remote areas is different from that of Indigenous youth in non-remote areas, but older Indigenous residents of such areas are not very different in employment terms. Policy-makers thus need to pay particular attention to Indigenous youth employment in remote areas because the failure to address these differentials may lead to a foreclosure of future labour market options. Policy also needs to facilitate Indigenous engagement in the mainstream economy by assisting Indigenous people to be work-ready, especially in ensuring that Indigenous skills are matched with employer demands, and expediting employment by informing businesses on how to provide an Indigenous-friendly workplace.

The Economic and Labour Relations Review