Publication Date

January 2004

Publication Details

O'Brien, M, Structural Change and the Older Male Worker in Australia, Working Paper 04-01, Department of Economics, University of Wollongong, 2004.


Unfavourable changes in the industry composition of employment over the last two decades has been suggested as a reason for structural unemployment and declining labour force participation of older males in Australia. In this paper, the author explores this proposition by analysing employment data for older males over the 1984 to 1999 period. Standard shift-share analysis findings suggest that, although older males are over-represented in stagnant or declining industries and under-represented in growth sectors, the net aggregate effects of structural change for older males’ employment trends are minimal. However, alternative methodologies presented reveal a number of interesting insights into the role of industry structure for older male employment trends.