Document Type

Journal Article


The labour market remained strong throughout 2003 with ongoing jobs growth and a continuation of the trend towards a lower unemployment rate. Unlike previous years, in 2003, additional jobs were mainly full-time jobs and the female labour force participation rate declined. After 11 years of ongoing improvement in the condition of the labour market, this boom is lacking the three developments associated with past improvement in the labour market: strong wages growth, strong growth in labour force participation rates, and increased industrial disputation. The review also considers the ongoing growth in the employment services sector associated with the spread of temporary agency employment. The topical issue of the ageing of the population is then considered with a critical examination of the current policy direction of extending the working life of Australian workers. Finally, a related issue is reviewed: the provision of child care services in Australia.