Australian Bureau of Statistics
4704.0 - The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2008
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/04/2008
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EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT AND INCOME
Education and employment
The positive effect that education has on an individual’s economic outcomes, particularly employment and income, has been well established (Biddle 2005). Results from the 2006 Census show that Indigenous people aged 15 years and over with higher levels of schooling (who were not currently attending secondary school) were more likely than those with lower levels of attainment to be in full-time employment. In every broad age group, Indigenous people who had completed Year 12 were more than twice as likely as those who had completed school to Year 9 or below to have a full-time job (graph 3.5). This was particularly the case for young people aged 18-24 years, where the rate of full-time employment among those who had completed Year 12 was four times as high as among those who had left school at Year 9 or below (37% compared with 9%).
Among those who had completed Year 12, the proportion of people in full-time employment was lower in the Indigenous population than in the non-Indigenous population (42% compared with 49%). Rates of part-time employment and non-participation in the labour force were similar for both groups. However, among Australians who had completed Year 12, Indigenous people were more than twice as likely as non-Indigenous people to be unemployed (7% compared with 3%) (table 3.6).
The same pattern of association is evident among those who had completed a non-school qualification. Indigenous people aged 25-64 years who had a non-school qualification of a Certificate III or above were more than twice as likely as those without a non-school qualification to be employed full-time (52% compared with 23%). Indigenous women with a Certificate III or above were less likely than Indigenous men with the same level of qualification to be employed full-time, and were around twice as likely to be employed part-time or not be participating in the labour force. This reflects the fact that many women in this age group are likely to be caring for children full-time, or combining childcare with part-time employment (ABS 2006d).
In 2006, the difference in the full-time employment rates for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people with a Certificate III or above was 8 percentage points (52% compared with 60%) (table 3.7). This disparity in full-time employment rates was considerably lower than the difference between the full-time employment rates for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people with a non-school qualification (35% compared with 56%) and between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people without a non-school qualification (23% compared with 41%).
Education and income
In 2006, Indigenous people who had completed secondary school had higher incomes than those who had left school at lower grades. Among those who were employed, Indigenous people aged 15 years and over who had completed Year 12 had a median gross individual income of $620 per week compared with $405 per week for those who left school at Year 9 or below. Nevertheless, employed Indigenous people who had completed Year 12 had a lower median weekly income in 2006 than did employed non-Indigenous people with Year 12 ($620 per week compared with $811 per week).
Likewise, among those aged 25-64 years who were employed, Indigenous people with a Certificate III or above had one-and-a-half times the weekly income of those without a non-school qualification ($791 compared with $510). However, they still had a lower median weekly income compared with non-Indigenous people with the equivalent qualification level ($791 compared with $965).
This page last updated 27 May 2010
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