Adding Migrants to the Mix: The Demography of the Labour Force Participation Rate, 2000 to 2010
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"Between 2000 and 2010, the labour force participation rate in Australia increased by more than 2 percentage points to reach a record high by the end of the decade. This article decomposes the change in the participation rate to examine the respective contributions of age, gender, and birthplace. There are three strong findings. First, among the Australian-born, increases in the propensity to participate in the labour force—among women and older persons—fully offsets the downward pull of ageing. Second, among the overseas-born, there is both a reverse-ageing effect—reflecting the large influx of young migrants over the past decade—and the same higher propensity to participate among women and older persons. The end result is that migrants added 1.9 percentage points to the aggregate participation rate over the past decade. Third, controlling for age and gender, participation rates for the overseas-born remain lower than they are for the Australian-born people. There has been some convergence over the decade for men, but not for women."