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The Australian National University

Monica Howlett

Document: Working Paper

This paper compares the level and source of income for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians using data from the 2011 wave of the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey. Three sources of income are considered: wages and salaries; government benefits; and income from businesses, investments and other private transfers. Consistent with many previous studies, Indigenous Australians have, on average, lower total income than non-Indigenous Australians, with this difference being largest for those who are full-time employed.

Document: Working Paper

Until the global financial crisis reduced Australian economic growth in late 2008, Indigenous employment had been increasing in both absolute and relative terms for over a decade. The effect of the international economic contraction has been mitigated by Australia’s booming mining sector, largely due to China’s growing demand for resources. Given that a substantial number of mining operations are on or near Indigenous land, the increase in mining investment may have disproportionately affected Indigenous communities.

Document: 2011 Census Papers

While recent research has found that there has been a substantial increase in Indigenous mainstream employment since the mid-1990s, there has been relatively little regional analysis of mainstream employment or the extent to which the nature of Indigenous employment has altered in what has been a period of substantial change in the Australian labour market. The aim of this paper is to build on the existing research using the 2006 and 2011 Censuses to provide a more disaggregated analysis of any changes in the nature of labour market outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

Document: Topical Issue

Recent reporting suggests that there has been no growth in Indigenous employment since the mid-2000s, or even that employment has decreased slightly. Such reports focus on changes in a measure of employment which includes Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) participants. However, when CDEP is excluded from the employment measure a very different picture emerges — one of a strong and sustained increase in non-CDEP employment since 1994.

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