Unemployment the economic and social costs

The Economic and Social Costs

Daryl Dixon and Barry Martin, (1989)

Published in 1988 when unemployment rates in Australia were in excess of 8% and there were significant levels of disguised unemployment, this study provided research on the cost of unemployment on the economy and the community at a time when there was little analysis of the topic.

The study demonstrates that the direct cost to the Australian government of unemployment is about 50% of the private income lost through unemployment. It also shows there are private and community costs in areas such as housing, health, community services, and correctional and crime prevention services, “possibly adding another 10% of private income lost through unemployment”.

Daryl Dixon was commissioned to conduct the study by the Social Policy and Research Centre of the Brotherhood of St Laurence to create awareness of the impact of high unemployment and prompt further research.