Out they go, jobs good and bad

Out they go, jobs good and badSydney - Getting a good job nowadays doesn't mean you are more likely to stay in employment in these recessionary times.

Research in Australia shows that the common perception that the low-paid have the least job security is a myth.

The Melbourne Institute of Applied Research found that rates of redundancy are "statistically insignificant" when the highly paid are compared with those at the bottom of the scale.

Mark Wooden, using figures from the government's Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey, said low-income workers were not "condemned to a life cycling between low-paid jobs and unemployment."

What he found was that any job was better than no job in ensuring employment probability and that because of this bumping up the minimum wage only made it harder for the jobless to find work.

"There is, at most, only a weak scarring effect on future employment from being in a low-paid job," Wooden said. "There is job mobility among the low paid and they are more likely to move to a higher-paid job from a low-paid job than to no job."

For labour market watchers, the research should come as no surprise.

Despite all the talk of unskilled jobs disappearing because of mechanization and the shifting of manufacturing industries to low-wage economies like China, the fact is that 65 per cent of job ads in Australia are for unskilled workers.

Manufacturing's share of jobs has fallen from a quarter in 1966 to just 12 per cent now, but much of the slack has been taken up by the mining industry - and by industries in the service sector like tourism, where most jobs are low wage. (dpa)

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