Michael McGann, Dina Bowman, Helen Kimberley and Simon Biggs

With people living longer and the working age population in decline, older Australians are being asked to work longer. Yet increasing numbers are experiencing long-term unemployment and chronic insecurity in the labour market.

Focusing on mature-age adults who are underemployed or involuntarily without work, the Brotherhood of St. Laurence, in partnership with Jobs Australia and researchers at Melbourne, Canberra and Curtin universities, undertook a study to understand:

  • the circumstances that lead to marginalisation from employment
  • the impact on people’s personal and financial wellbeing, and future aspirations
  • how employment services can better assist mature-age jobseekers

Data from the HILDA survey and ABS were analysed and 80 older men and women were interviewed.

The results show the connection between work, age and identity and the importance of gender and class in shaping older workers’ diverse experiences of ageing, work and discrimination.

This study was funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage grant.

Last updated on 4 March 2020