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Indigenous economic futures in the Northern Territory: the demographic and socioeconomic background

CollectionsANU Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR)
Title: Indigenous economic futures in the Northern Territory: the demographic and socioeconomic background
Author(s): Taylor, John
Keywords: Indigenous
Northern Territory
census data
income status
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Research School of Social Sciences, College of Arts & Social Sciences, The Australian National University
Series/Report no.: Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) Discussion Paper: No. 246
This paper examines 1996 and 2001 Census data to establish recent changes in Indigenous and non-Indigenous employment and income status in the Northern Territory. Also explored are some of the constraints and opportunities facing Indigenous people in their effort to increase their share of Territory income and raise their levels of participation in the labour market. The paper builds on previous analyses of Indigenous employment and income indicators for the Northern Territory, providing a window on recent trends in relative economic status. This time series is then extended by projecting the Indigenous workingage population and likely employment outcomes to 2011, in an attempt to estimate the scale of the task ahead for Indigenous people and governments as they attempt to raise Indigenous economic status. The findings suggest that the scale of this task is growing with time—Indigenous employment in the mainstream labour market is trending downwards along with the overall level of labour force participation, while the income gap between Indigenous and other Territory residents is widening. Given projected expansion of the working age population, the numbers in work need to rise just to keep the already low employment rate from falling further. The Northern Territory has a serious economic development problem—around one fifth of its resident adult population remains impoverished, structurally detached from the labour market, and illequipped to engage with it.
ISSN: 1036-1774


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