Recycling older steelworkers: Post-redundancy job-mobility experiences of workers from BlueScope Steel Port Kembla
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Mass worker redundancies are a common feature associated with structural change in developed economies, particularly in the steel-manufacturing industry. Past research has highlighted the poor re-employment outcomes for older workers, with many exiting the labour force permanently and becoming dependent on social-security income. The research presented in this article uses a longitudinal and mixed-methods approach to understand the job-mobility experiences of redundant steel workers. These workers were displaced from BlueScope Steel's Port Kembla plant after the shutdown in 2011 of one of their remaining two blast furnaces. We document relatively optimistic outcomes, when compared to past research, by focusing on the post-redundancy outcomes for older workers. We highlight the roles of the mining boom and the job-search strategies and attitudes of displaced workers.