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The Australian National University

Occupational Mobility of Indigenous and other Australians, 2006-11

Working Paper 118 / 2017


This paper describes Indigenous and non-Indigenous occupational mobility (i.e. changes in the skill level of an occupation in which an individual is employed) using the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset, 2006-11.

The paper also considers movements out of paid employment, by occupation, and the occupations in which people who move into employment are employed. The main finding is that Indigenous people are more likely than non-Indigenous people to enter the labour market through low-skill jobs, and to have greater downward mobility because they are more likely than non- Indigenous people to leave employment from the highest-skill occupations.

For those who are employed at successive censuses, there is not a great deal of difference in Indigenous and non-Indigenous patterns of occupational mobility. By analysing the flows into and out of particular occupations, this paper also attempts to broaden the understanding of job retention rates. We explore some interpretations of these data using recent literature on job polarisation and routinisation of work.


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