One in Five Worked with COVID Symptoms; Sick Leave Entitlements Must Be Strengthened

Almost one in five Australians (and a higher proportion of young workers) acknowledge working with potential COVID symptoms over the course of the pandemic, according to new opinion research released today by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. The research confirms the public health dangers of Australia’s patchwork system of sick leave and related

Wages Will Continue to Lag Without Targeted Wage-Boosting Measures: New Report

A comprehensive review of Australian wage trends indicates that wage growth is likely to remain stuck at historically weak levels despite the dramatic disruptions experienced by the Australian labour market through the COVID-19 pandemic. The report finds that targeted policies to deliberately lift wages are needed to break free of the low-wage trajectory that has

Pandemic Workforce Crisis Requires TAFE Investment in Early Childhood Education to Boost Economy: Report

A new report has found pandemic workforce shortages should be tackled through investment in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) to boost employment, unlock productivity and support life-long development outcomes for children. The research report launched today, ‘Educating for Care: Meeting Skills Shortages in an Expanding ECEC Industry’ has called for the sector to be

April 2022

Universal Public Early Child Education in Australia Would Pay For Itself: Research Report

Making Early Child Education and Care (ECEC) universal in Australia would pay for itself by unlocking women’s labour supply, boosting GDP and growing government revenues by billions, according to new research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. With cost of living shaping up as a key election issue, policy experts say boosted funding would

March 2022

New Research: Australia’s Skills System Continues to Crumble After COVID

Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) system shows growing signs of erosion, fragmentation and dysfunction, according to new research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. The research reveals a grim picture of a VET system starved of consistent funding or focus, fragmenting into scattered offerings of non-accredited and ‘micro-credential’ courses, mostly provided by

February 2022

Australia ready to become sustainable EV-making powerhouse: new research

A unique combination of advantages has handed Australia a historic chance to become a sustainable global manufacturer of electric vehicles – provided the federal government acts swiftly and decisively, according to new research by the Australia Institute’s Carmichael Centre. The new report, Rebuilding Vehicle Manufacturing in Australia: Industrial Opportunities in an Electrified Future, has found Australia

December 2021

As collective bargaining erodes in Australia, solutions from other countries could strengthen bargaining and lift wages 

New research on international collective bargaining systems, released today in a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Labour and Industry, finds that Australia’s industrial relations system is rapidly losing its ability to support wages in the face of numerous challenges (now including the Omicron outbreak). On the heels of new data showing further erosion of Australia’s

Victorian Rate Cap Policy Costs Economy Over 7,000 jobs and $890 million to GDP

The Victorian State Government’s policy to cap the rates of local government has cost the Victorian economy 7,425 direct and indirect jobs in 2021-22, and has reduced GDP by up to $890 million in 2021-22, according to new research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. Key Findings The Victorian Government’s rate caps have

November 2021

Active Policy Measures Needed to Stop Decline of Journalism

The media and information industries have lost some 60,000 jobs in Australia over the last 15 years. With almost half of those jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, new research shows active policy supports are urgently needed to stabilise and protect the ‘public good’ function of journalism. A new report by the Australia Institute’s Centre

October 2021

Insecure Workers Have Been the ‘Shock Troops’ of the COVID-19 Pandemic: New Report

New research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work confirms that workers in casual and insecure jobs have borne the lion’s share of job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic – both the first lockdowns in 2020, and the more recent Delta-wave of closures. Key Findings: Since May, workers in casual and part-time jobs have

July 2021

When the Show Cannot Go On: Rebooting Australia’s Arts & Entertainment Sector After COVID-19

New research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, written by Senior Economist Alison Pennington and Monash University’s Ben Eltham, reveals the ongoing, devastating impact of COVID-19 on Australia’s arts and entertainment sector and provides a series of recommendations to government that would reboot the creative sector following the crisis. Key Findings: The arts

May 2021

Australia’s Electricity Infrastructure Undermined by $1 Billion Per Year Under Investment

The resilience of Australia’s electricity infrastructure is being undermined by a chronic pattern of underinvestment in maintenance and upkeep, the result of rent-seeking by private electricity producers and a deeply flawed regulatory system. That is the conclusion of a detailed review of empirical and qualitative data on the transmission and distribution system contained in a

March 2021

February 2021

Business Council of Australia Research Confirms Centre for Future Work Research

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) has today released a report which confirms trends described in earlier research by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. However, the BCA’s expressed concern for ‘the future of bargaining’ contradicts its support for the Government’s omnibus bill which will further undermine genuine bargaining and suppress already record-low wage

Omnibus IR Bill will Further Reduce Wage Growth

New research by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work shows the Federal Government’s omnibus industrial relations bill will lead to a significant increase in employer-designed enterprise agreements (EA) that reduce workers’ pay and conditions, rather than improve them—signaling a return to the WorkChoices pattern of EA-making and putting further downward pressure on Australia’s already

December 2020

Pandemic Exacerbated Inequality, Insecurity in Australia’s Labour Market

A year-end review of the dramatic changes in Australia’s labour market in 2020 has confirmed that the worst economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic were felt by Australians in relatively low-paid, insecure jobs. Key Findings: Workers in casual jobs lost employment at a rate 8 times faster than those in permanent positions Part-time workers suffered

New Research Centre Established to Honour Union Leader Laurie Carmichael

A new research centre dedicated to the legacy of one of Australia’s greatest union leaders will be established in 2021 at the Australia Institute. The newly formed Carmichael Centre will be established at the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, in the name of legendary manufacturing unionist Laurie Carmichael, who passed away in 2018 at

November 2020

Australian Workplaces Unprepared for Rising Heat Stress in Light of Climate Change

Last Summer’s devastating Black Summer bushfires exposed the under-preparedness of Australian workplaces to the serious health and safety risks of heat stress for many workers across Australia. Heading in to next Summer season, new research published today by the Centre for Future Work, outlines why working in extreme heat is a growing and urgent issue

Unpaid Overtime Rife, Despite Shift to “Work from Home”

New research has revealed that almost three-quarters of Australians “working from home” are doing at least some of it in non-work-time. This has contributed to a substantial rise in the incidence of unpaid overtime this year, which now costs Australian workers almost $100 billion a year.  The Centre for Future Work’s 12th annual Go Home on

October 2020

480,000 Jobs Rely on QLD Public Service, Cuts Would Deepen the State’s Recession

With state budget deficits a potential issue in the coming Queensland election, new research from the Centre for Future Work shows that cutting public sector jobs and wages would directly undermine the delivery of essential public services at a challenging time in Queensland’s history. Moreover, misplaced fiscal austerity would also hurt the state’s economic recovery

September 2020

New Analysis: 12,000 Community Service Jobs at Risk Due to Funding Uncertainty

New economic research shows up to 12,000 community service jobs are at risk due to the Federal Government’s failure to confirm whether federal funding for community service organisations will be maintained. The new report released today by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work demonstrates the economic importance of Commonwealth pay-equity funding at a time

August 2020

Failure to Invest in New Tech Damaging Economy, Incomes & Jobs

Startling new research from the Centre for Future Work shows that Australia’s economy is now regressing in its use of new technology, with negative implications for productivity, incomes, and job quality. The report findings contrast sharply with the common concern that robots and other forms of automation will threaten future job security for Australian workers.

TAFE system supports $92.5 billion in annual economic benefits

New research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work shows the TAFE system supports $92.5 billion in annual economic benefits through the direct operation of TAFE institutes, higher incomes and productivity generated by the TAFE-credentialed workforce, and reduced social benefits costs.  The report adopts a multidimensional approach to measuring the wide economic and social

July 2020

Post-COVID Manufacturing Renewal Represents Potential $50 Billion Boost to Economy

New research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work reveals that Australia ranks last among all OECD countries for manufacturing self-sufficiency. While this indicator confirms the dramatic decline of domestic manufacturing in recent years, it also reveals the enormous potential benefits that would be generated by rebuilding manufacturing back to a size proportional to

April 2020

81% of Australians support JobKeeper for all Casual Workers

New polling shows more than eight in ten Australians support extending the wage subsidy, known as the JobKeeper program, to all casual workers, regardless of how long they have worked at their place of employment. The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,008 people between 3 and 6 April 2020. Key Findings: Australians

November 2019

‘Go Home on Time Day’ 2019: Australian Employers Pocketing $81 Billion Worth of Unpaid Overtime, Report Reveals

New research from The Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work estimates that Australian workers are currently working an average of 4.6 hours of unpaid overtime each week, which translates to 6 weeks of full time work without pay, per employee, per year – with an annual worth of $81.5 billion for Australian employers. The Centre’s

Chronic Unemployment a Consequence of Deliberate Economic Policies

There is a contradiction between Australian macroeconomic policy—which deliberately maintains unemployment at 5% or higher—and a culture that blames unemployed people for their own unemployment and hardships. New research from the Centre for Future Work shows that there is no statistical evidence for the long-held assumption that if unemployment falls below its so-called “natural” or

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