Rise in Indigenous Employment and Education

21 Feb 2018: The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) this week released 2016 Census of Housing and Population figures that show an increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young adults who are fully engaged in either work or study.

More than half (52 per cent) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people between 15 – 24 years are participating in either employment or education – up from 46 per cent in 2006.

Those living in urban areas (55 per cent) are more likely to be working or studying than those living in non-urban areas (42 per cent).

Employment

Approximately 233,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported participating in the workforce. A higher proportion of men (55 per cent) are participating in the workforce than women (49 per cent), and the proportion is higher for those living in urban areas (54 per cent) than those living in non-urban areas (45 per cent).

Community and Personal Service Workers is the most commonly listed occupation at (17 per cent), compared to the 2011 Census when Labourers was the most common occupation (18 per cent). The most common industries listed in 2016 are Health Care and Social Assistance (14 per cent) and Public Administration and Safety (11 per cent). The Accountancy and Finance sector is not listed.

Education

There was an overall increase in school attendance by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders between 2006 and 2016. The increase was marked for both women and men aged between 15 – 17 years; from 54 to 73 per cent for women, and 51 per cent to 70 per cent for men.

Attendance at tertiary institutions has also increased for women and men aged 18 – 24 years between 2006 and 2016 – from seven per cent to 12 per cent for women, and from four to seven per cent for men.

Click here to view the ABS media release from 16 Fenruary 2018