Labour History

Unemployment in a Time of Full Employment: Counting and Regulating Worklessness in Mid-Twentieth Century Australia

Labour History (2015), 108, (1), 71–88.

Abstract

The post-war period saw the consolidation of new understandings of unemployment in Australia. This is evident both in statistical definitions of unemployment and in the social security provision of unemployment benefit during this period. Both represented a significant break from pre-war concepts and practices. This article suggests that the emergence of these new understandings, at least in part, was linked to a changing labour market. The article goes on to consider the extent to which the post-war binary divide between “employment” and “unemployment” adequately captured the labour market experience of two groups: married women and remote-area Indigenous workers.

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Footnotes

*The author would like to thankLabour History‘s two anonymous referees. Google Scholar

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O’Donnell, Anthony