Unemployment, Income Support and Job Search Activity Among Baby Boomers in Australia.

Document Information

Conference Paper

  • Published: July 2013
  • Authors: Marcia Keegan, R Cassells and Riyana Miranti
  • Conference Title: Beyond the Frontiers: New Directions in Economics. 42nd Australian Conference of Economists
  • Conference Location: Murdoch University, Perth
  • Proceedings ISBN: 9781921877124
  • Keywords: baby boomers, income support and unemployment


In Australia, cessation of paid employment is commonly expected to occur when one of two milestones is reached – reaching the superannuation preservation age (currently 55, soon to gradually increase to 60), or reaching the age pension entitlement age (currently 65 for men and 64.5 for women). However, for many older Australians – currently the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation aged 45-64 - these plans are thwarted by circumstances beyond their control – unemployment, disability or need to care for others. While official unemployment statistics are low for Baby Boomers, they suffer more from long-term unemployment and hidden unemployment than younger generations. Using data from a combination of administrative and survey sources, this paper examines unemployment and non-participation in the labour force among Baby Boomers, their characteristics compared with employed Baby Boomers, their dependence on income support and job search experiences and difficulties and the policy implications of inadequate participation.


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