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Occupational segregation: A comparison between employed Aborigines, Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians




Taylor, John

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Canberra, ACT : Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR), The Australian National University


This paper describes the detailed occupational composition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce and measures the extent to which it differs from that of the rest of the workforce. For this purpose, 1986 Census data on occupational major and unit groups are used, and inter- and intra- occupational segregation indexes are calculated. This reveals for the first time the precise occupational mix which characterises the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander labour markets. At the broad level of major occupations, there is some indication that the degree of employment segregation between Indigenous and other Australians has decreased over time, although the lack of time series data based on consistent occupational classification renders this analysis inconclusive. At the more disaggregated occupational unit level, clear patterns of relative employment concentration and exclusion in particular occupations are in evidence with gender as the main differentiating factor. Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO)-linked occupational prestige scores are applied to the employment distributions as a basis for comparing socioeconomic status.






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Open Access

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