Journal article

Are the gaps closing?: regional trends and forecasts of Indigenous employment

Labour force Aboriginal Australians Torres Strait Islanders Australia

This paper examines the extent to which Indigenous Australians have shared in the large expansion of the Australian workforce as revealed by a comparison of 2001 and 2006 census results and whether there have been any associated general patterns. As such, it provides the first comprehensive assessment of possible impacts of federal Indigenous employment policies introduced just prior to the 2001 Census and it contributes to the policy discourse on 'closing the gap' between Indigenous and other Australians. Conventional census measures of labour force status are established for each of 37 Indigenous Regions with a particular focus on changes in full-time private sector employment. In line with the policy focus on gap analysis an attempt is made to estimate future job requirements using a projection of the Indigenous working-age population to 2016. This reveals a need for more than 117,000 additional jobs to meet current government targets.

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