4725.0 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth, Apr 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/05/2012  Reissue
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Contents >> Paid Work


This article is part of a comprehensive series released as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth.

Note: In this chapter, the terms 'youth' and 'young people' refer to people aged 15–24 years. Data presented are from the ABS National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008 and 2002 (cat. no. 4714.0) and the Survey of Education and Work, 2008 and 2009 (cat. no. 6227.0).


Of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in 2008:
  • 45% were employed (up from 39% in 2002)
  • 15% were unemployed (a decrease from 22% in 2002)
  • 39% were not participating in the labour force.
This brings the overall labour force participation rate to 61% in 2008.

In 2008, young people in paid work were less likely than those who were unemployed to:
  • have experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress in the four weeks before interview (27% compared with 38%)
  • be current daily smokers (37% compared with 50%).

Participation in the labour force and engagement in paid work following study forms a significant part of the lives of young people. The extent of participation of young people in the economy through paid work can impact on their wellbeing by improving outcomes in areas of income, health and education, self-esteem and social integration (Endnote 1).The Framework for Measuring Wellbeing: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2010 (cat.no. 4703.0) identifies paid work activity as one of the domains that contributes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing.

Topics covered in this article include:


1. SCRGSP(Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision) 2011, Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2011, Productivity Commission, Canberra, p.8.1.

This section contains the following subsection :
      Young people in the labour force
      Young people not in employment
      Employment and wellbeing
      Other resources about paid work

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