Low-wage industries

Low pay sector
Lower income labour markets


Challenges of work, family and care for Australia’s retail, online retail, warehousing and fast food workers

This report provides information about the work, family and care arrangements of employees in Australia’s retail, fast food and warehousing industries.
Discussion paper

Gains for everyone

The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused a major social and economic shock to Aotearoa New Zealand. The paradigm-shifting nature of this truly global event also presents a unique opportunity to create a more equitable economic model, crafting a post-pandemic Aotearoa New Zealand characterised by more-inclusive...

Food precincts investigations: Melbourne laneways and Brisbane’s West End

Describing a recent investigation of 49 fast food, café and restaurant businesses in Melbourne’s Degraves Street and Hardware Lane and Brisbane’s West End, this report outlines the recovery of $1,212,727 in unpaid wages to potentially vulnerable young workers such as university students.
Discussion paper

Estimating current and future demand for housing assistance

The purpose of this paper is to establish the true extent of existing demand for social housing in Australia, and to model the potential future demand that could be created by shifts in the labour market as a result of automation and artificial intelligence (AI).

Submission to the Fair Work Commission re National Minimum Wage

In their submission to the Fair Work Commission's Annual Wage Review 2018–19, the Council calls for an increase in the national minimum wage, and untying it from the wage relativity structure.

Minimum wage submission 2019

ACOSS's submission to the Fair Work Commission's 2018–19 review of minimum wages discusses the links between minimum wage levels and poverty and equality, arguing for a substantial increase, regular benchmarking and ongoing consultation with stakeholders.

Report of the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce

The Migrant Workers’ Taskforce, chaired by Professor Allan Fels AO, with Dr David Cousins AM as Deputy Chair, was established as part of the federal government’s response to the revelation of significant wage underpayments in certain industry sectors. This report provides a summary of the...
Fact sheet

Fact Check: Will Labor's dividend imputation policy overwhelmingly affect the low paid?

The Morrison Government has argued Labor's controversial plan to scrap refundable franking credits on dividends from shares is unfair. Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert says the plan will overwhelmingly hit low and middle-income earners, claiming that 84
Fact sheet

Fact Check: Have 700,000 of the poorest-paid people received an effective pay cut?

In February 2017, the Fair Work Commission decided to reduce minimum Sunday and public holiday rates for some award workers in the retail, pharmacy and hospitality industries. Opposition spokeswoman for justice Clare O'Neil claims it amounts to a pay cut.
Journal article

Is deteriorating housing affordability reducing lower income central city worker supply and productivity?

The study examines whether the diminishing supply of affordable housing options for lower income central city workers is having an impact on central city businesses and on the overall productivity of those economies.

Is California's gig economy growing? Exploring trends in independent contracting

Recent reports on the “gig economy” create an impression that a dizzying mix of technological and competitive forces is fundamentally reworking the landscape of employment in the United States. A central aspect of this change is the perceived rise of independent contracting as an alternative...

Women and WorkChoices: impacts on the low pay sector

This report analyses qualitative findings about the impact of WorkChoices on women workers most of whom are on minimum wages.This report analyses qualitative findings about the impact of WorkChoices on women workers most of whom are on minimum wages.