The Cambridge Handbook of the Social Sciences in Australia

By Ian McAllister; Steve Dowrick et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 6
Labour Market and
Industrial Relations
Jeff Borland

Over the past thirty years the Australian labour market has undergone a profound transformation. At the beginning of the 1970s the overwhelming majority of jobs were held by males working full-time. Most of those workers would have been the sole 'bread-winners' for their households. Low unemployment meant that there were few households without an adult in work. The majority of workers had not completed high school, and about one-third of the workforce was in agriculture and manufacturingindustry jobs. By the turn of the century none of these features can be recognised in the Australian labour market. Jobs (although not hours of work) are now almost evenly divided between males and females, and there are many households in which several members are employed.The rise of mass unemployment has meant that there is also a large group of households in which no member has a job. More than two-thirds of workers have completed high school or obtained a post-school qualification, and the finance, property and business services industry now accounts for more jobs than manufacturing industry.

It is the transformation of the Australian labour market that has provided the fundamental impetus for, and to a large extent defined the scope of, recent research work on labour-market and industrial-relations issues in Australia. That research has sought to document changes that have occurred, and to understand the sources and consequences of those changes in the Australian labour market.

The chapter has four main parts. The first section describes the key features of the Australian labour market today, and developments since the 1970s.The second presents a brief introduction to the concept of a labour market, and a schema for understanding the main determinants of labour-market outcomes. The third section reviews the main labour-market policies and institutions in Australia today, and their evolution over the past twenty to thirty years. A final section reviews research on a set of main themes on the operation of the Australian labour market.That research has covered a vast array of topics, and on any topic there is an extensive range of work to review.This is a point that is exemplified in journal publications in Australia. Between 1997 and 2001, about 25 per cent of articles published in the Economic Record, and 33 per cent of articles published in the Australian Economic Review, were on labour-economics-related topics. At the same time, there are at least four journals dedicated to labour-economics and industrial-relations

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The Cambridge Handbook of the Social Sciences in Australia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Figures and Tables vii
  • Contributors x
  • Preface and Acknowledgements xviii
  • Introduction 1
  • References 13
  • Part 1 - Economics 15
  • Chapter 1 - Privatisation 17
  • References 27
  • Chapter 2 - Competition Policy and Regulation 31
  • References 40
  • Chapter 3 - Economics and the Environment 45
  • References 57
  • Chapter 4 - Health Economics 60
  • References 70
  • Chapter 5 - Immigration 74
  • References 87
  • Chapter 6 - Labour Market and Industrial Relations 94
  • References 113
  • Chapter 7 - Income Distribution and Redistribution 118
  • References 134
  • Chapter 8 - Taxation 138
  • References 148
  • Chapter 9 - Innovation 153
  • References 165
  • Chapter 10 - International Trade and Industry Policies 168
  • References 180
  • Chapter 11 - The Macro Economy 186
  • Notes 199
  • References 200
  • Chapter 12 - Money and Banking 203
  • References 216
  • Part 2 - Political Science 221
  • Chapter 13 - Political Theory 223
  • References 231
  • Chapter 14 - Federalism and the Constitution 234
  • References 246
  • Chapter 15 - Legislative Institutions 249
  • References 260
  • Chapter 16 - Political Parties and Electoral Behaviour 266
  • References 283
  • Chapter 17 - Electoral Systems 287
  • References 302
  • Chapter 18 - Gender Politics 305
  • References 319
  • Chapter 19 - Interest Groups and Social Movements 323
  • References 339
  • Chapter 20 - Environmental Policy and Politics 345
  • References 355
  • Chapter 21 - International Relations 358
  • Notes 368
  • References 369
  • Chapter 22 - Political Economy 374
  • References 391
  • Chapter 23 - Public Policy and Public Administration 406
  • References 422
  • Part 3 - Sociology 431
  • Chapter 24 - Patterns of Social Inequality 433
  • References 457
  • Chapter 25 - Families and Households 462
  • References 477
  • Chapter 26 - Gender Perspectives 480
  • References 493
  • Chapter 27 - Work and Employment 499
  • Notes 511
  • References 512
  • Chapter 28 - Crime and Deviance 518
  • References 531
  • Chapter 29 - Health and Illness 536
  • References 552
  • Chapter 30 - Population 554
  • References 569
  • Chapter 31 - Race, Ethnicity and Immigration 573
  • Notes 585
  • References 586
  • Chapter 32 - Urban and Regional Sociology 590
  • Reference 598
  • Chapter 33 - Rural Sociology 604
  • Reference 619
  • Chapter 34 - Religion and Spirituality 626
  • Reference 632
  • Chapter 35 - Cultural Studies, Australian Studies and Cultural Sociology 638
  • References 651
  • Chapter 36 - Sociological Theory 654
  • References 664
  • Chapter 37 - Social Policy and Social Welfare 666
  • References 674
  • Author Index 678
  • Subject Index 696
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