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The Impact of Industry Restructuring from 1971 to 1991 on the Employment Experience of Demographic Groups

Robert Ackland

Australian Economic Review, 1994, vol. 27, issue 2, 57-68

Abstract: Abstract In this article, an empirical measure devised by Bonnell and Dixon (1983) is used to calculate the impact of structural change on the employment opportunities of males and females of different birthplace groups over the period 1971 to 1991. The measure calculates the percentage change in the employment of a particular demographic group1 which would have occurred over the period 1971 to 1991, allowing for changes in the industry composition of employment, but holding constant both total employment growth and the group shares of employment in each industry. It is found that structural change had a greater negative impact on the employment opportunities of immigrants from non‐English‐speaking backgrounds (NESBs), compared with its impact on the employment experience of other birthplace groups. However, further analysis which allows for the group shares of employment in each industry to vary suggests that the direction and degree of inter‐industry mobility have an important influence on the effect of structural change on the employment opportunities of different groups. It is found that the apparent labour‐market disadvantage experienced by people from NESBs in response to structural change is in fact offset by their revealed capacity for inter‐industry mobility from declining to growing industries.

Date: 1994
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Handle: RePEc:bla:ausecr:v:27:y:1994:i:2:p:57-68