This paper summarises the results of a high-level scoping workshop with senior government officials and labour market experts from the Australian National University and other research institutions to explore current issues and experiences, particularly in light of the 2011 Budget initiative.
This brief worskhop summary focuses on workforce participation.
Australia, along with a number of industrialised economies, is facing an ageing population which will have an impact on the workforce participation rate and on the tax and welfare systems.
By historical and international standards, Australia has a very low unemployment rate of 4.9 per cent. Nevertheless, there is pressure to increase workforce participation particularly to drive better productivity performance. Numbers of underemployed, discouraged and marginally attached workers remain high. The sum of the unemployed and the underemployed groups, the Labour Force Underutilisation Rate, is currently 12.1 per cent.