Unemployment and Income Distribution.

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Discussion Paper


This study analyses the incomes and circumstances of families in which unemployed people live. It shows that there are marked differences in both the personal and family incomes of the unemployed by gender. The personal incomes of unemployed men are substantially higher than those of unemployed women, because more unemployed women live in families where the husband earns an income, thereby rendering them ineligible for unemployment assistance, which is means-tested on a family basis. On the other hand, the family incomes of unemployed women are substantially higher than those of unemployed men, again reflecting the increased probability of a second income earner in the family. Children and persons in unemployed families face a much greater risk of being in poverty than the Australian population generally. Unemployed workers generally come from much lower income families than do low wage workers.


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