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RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Bulletin – March Quarter 2014

Employment Outcomes of the Economically Disadvantaged

Michelle Cunningham, David Orsmond and Fiona Price

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Abstract:

As part of its liaison program, the Bank meets with community organisations to discuss the labour market and other opportunities and challenges faced by economically disadvantaged persons in Australia. The data available suggest that economic conditions faced by the disadvantaged generally improved over the years leading up to the global financial crisis, though they have deteriorated somewhat since then. Nonetheless, around half of those who were economically disadvantaged in 2005–06 had moved out of this category by 2011–12. Finding employment was an important pathway out of economic disadvantage, although this outcome depended in part on a person's skills and the type of job obtained. The majority of people who remained economically disadvantaged over this period were not in employment, and community organisations note that many of them face a range of structural barriers to finding employment.