This Positioning Paper introduces a research project that aims to provide an Australia-wide analysis of the consequences of underemployment for housing security. It explores the connection between an increasingly important but problematic feature of contemporary labour markets (underemployment) and a crucial dimension of housing research and policy (housing security).
Underemployment is defined as those working less than 35 hours in a given week who would prefer to work more paid hours. In Australia, underemployment is well above the OECD average (OECD Employment Outlook, 2010).
Underemployment, like unemployment, raises several housing policy concerns about the capacity of households to meet ongoing housing costs during a period of reduced or inadequate income. Small changes to incomes for some households pose a significant threat to housing security and stability.
The research will make use of several quantitative secondary data sources including ABS labour force statistics and the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey.