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First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


The latest ABS report on Indigenous people in the workforce confirms an ongoing trend of low participation. Our research shows that non-standard recruitment agencies, more education and ongoing mentoring and support are key to improving these disappointing statistics.

While there was a narrowing of the employment gap between 1994 and 2008, since 2008 this appears to have stalled. The ABS report shows that 58% of Indigenous Australians were participating in the labour force (that is, they were employed or unemployed).

Males were more likely than females to be participating in the labour force (65% compared with 52%), as were people in non-remote areas, compared with those in remote areas (61% and 49%, respectively). The report also found that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over were significantly less likely than non-Indigenous people to be employed.

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