Discussion paper

1 Feb 2019

Nick Dyrenfurth argues that for too long statistics have been hiding the real economic story. Consider the latest unemployment data - ostensibly good news. But ask anyone who is working or looking for work and you’ll hear a different story.


Australia’s 2013-18 job creation in historical perspective
30 Jan 2019

This paper reviews Australia’s job-creation record over the past five years, on the basis of year-end employment data recently published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Its aim is to evaluate claims that the pace of employment creation during that period (with 1.1 million net...


3 Dec 2018

A powerful reshaping of Australia’s youth labour market has ushered in an era of extreme job insecurity for the nation’s youth. In 2018, young Australians are far more likely to work part-time than forty years ago, according to this report summary.

Journal article

15 Nov 2018

This paper examines the impacts of the flagship of the sharing economy—Uber—on workers employed in conventional taxi services.


1 May 2018

The rapidly changing world of work presents a flurry of unanswered questions for us all. Take underemployment, which refers to people working in jobs for which they are overqualified. This topic has garnered attention over the years, with researchers illuminating how one in three Americans...


The stable scheduling study
28 Mar 2018

Many workers in today’s hourly jobs face schedules that create instability in multiple ways, from inconsistent hours and short notice to schedules decided with little employee input (Boushey & Ansel, 2016; Clawson & Gerstel, 2014; Lambert et al., 2014; McCrate, 2017; Williams & Boushey, 2010)....


1 Feb 2018

We live in a time of rising economic polarization. Low and high-wage jobs are growing, while those in the middle are declining or “hollowing out,” not just in the United States, but across the globe. Employment used to be a reliable path to economic stability...

Working paper

1 Sep 2017

Since 2012, the platform economy has received much academic, popular, and regulatory attention, reflecting its extraordinary rate of growth. This paper provides a conceptual and theoretical overview of rapidly growing labor platforms, focusing on how they represent both continuity and change in the world of...


1 Jun 2017

Over the past two years, Uber has taken center stage in public debates about the future of work, driven by our collective anxiety about technology and growing economic insecurity. The concern is that workers increasingly do not have employers anymore and are facing lower wages,...


3 May 2017


This guide provides a brief overview of underemployment, an introduction to the key concepts and terminology, and lists relevant data sources. This is one in a series of quick guides, designed to provide a basic understanding of Australian labour market data....


27 Mar 2017

Increasingly, unemployment rates tell only part of the story of young people’s jobs challenge. Underemployment, at 18 per cent of the nation’s youth labour force, is the highest in the 40 years since the ABS count officially began. And unemployment – at 13.5 per cent...

Blog post

8 Mar 2017

This article describes preliminary research into gender and spatial inequality across Metropolitan Melbourne. A key question for city productivity is whether people are able to access job opportunities that match their skills. This research looked broadly at the occupations and income of both men and...


1 Mar 2017

The gig economy has so far proved hard to define, hard to measure and hard to interpret. Some see it as part of a general shift of work towards less secure and more exploitative employment; others see it as creating a new form of flexible...

Working paper

28 Nov 2016

The growing prevalence of alternative work arrangements has accelerated with the rapidly evolving digital platform transformations in local and global markets (Kenny and Zysman, 2015 and 2016). Although traditional (offline) informal paid work has always been a part of the labor sector (BLS-Contingent Worker Survey,...


1 Nov 2016

This survey of American adults finds that a relatively substantial share of the public has earned money recently from a digital commerce platform. In the context of gig employment, nearly one-in-ten Americans (8%) have earned money in the last year using digital platforms to take...


1 Oct 2016

A full-time job with one employer has been considered the norm for decades, but increasingly, this fails to capture how a large share of the workforce makes a living. A narrow focus only on traditional jobs ignores tens of millions who put together their own...


6 Sep 2016

Many workers in the United States are at the mercy of unpredictable scheduling practices, often facilitated by new technologies where computer algorithms create employee schedules based on projected consumer demand. Unpredictable schedules can be found in many occupations but are most common in retail and...


31 Aug 2016

As inequality has markedly risen over the past few decades, so has economic volatility. Abundant research demonstrates that both individuals and households have faced much greater instability in income since the 1970s – a trend dubbed by Jacob Hacker as the “Great Risk Shift.” Income...



10 Aug 2016

The Reserve Bank of Australia, like central bankers around the world, is sailing in uncharted waters. In its recent Monetary Policy Report the RBA acknowledged inflation will not likely recover to its target range (between 2 and 3 per cent) until 2019, despite record-low interest...



1 Aug 2016

It must be hard for the working poor. They’re part of a growing army of 'precariats' - workers on low wages, temporary or no contracts, little or no sick or holiday pay, and no penalty rates. The precarious nature of their employment means they can’t...



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