Positive and negative impacts of job loss on family life: the perceptions of Australian car workers

Gwyneth Jolley, Lareen Newman, Anna Ziersch, Frances Baum

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    This article contributes to research on the impact of job loss on families It is based on survey responses from 371 workers and in-depth interviews with 39 of them about the family impacts of their job loss from the Mitsubishi car factory in Adelaide in 2004-2005. A majority of workers said family life had been affected by their job loss. Quantitative analysis identified four variables significantly associated with family impacts: marital status, children living at home, employment status and financial management. Qualitative responses showed the predominantly negative impacts were financial strain loss of relationship stability, and general stress and worry, although few faced catastrophic impacts from their job loss. However, in contrast to most previous research, the in-depth interviews also revealed positive impacts from job loss, such as having more time at home and to spend with their family. We conclude that the existence of ongoing income support and public health insurance in Australia were important in avoiding catastrophic financial impacts on these workers and their families.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)411-433
    Number of pages23
    JournalAustralian Journal of Social Issues
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


    • Car industry
    • Family
    • In-depth interviews
    • Job loss
    • Surveys


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