Un(der)employment, poverty and the future of work after the Global Financial Crisis

Andreas Cebulla, Ilan Katz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In Australia, as in all developed countries, there has always been a strong
link between unemployment and poverty, with the majority of those without
paid employment living in poverty. However, the strength of this link differs
between countries and changes over time. Governments have developed tax
and transfer policies to mitigate the risk of poverty for the unemployed, and
often have instituted job creation policies. Nevertheless, the link remains, as
does the continuing debate around the causes and consequences of poverty. For
more than 100 years, controversy has raged about whether unemployment and
poverty are largely caused by structural inequalities in society, or whether they
are ultimately the responsibility of the unemployed themselves (Welshman
2007). Similar disagreement surrounds the consequences of poverty: is it just
a necessary feature of a competitive market economy justified by increasing
overall wealth; or does it create negative consequences for society generally –
instability, conflict, crime, poor health and so on – that end up costing more
than the wealth that goes largely to the few? The link between unemployment
and poverty provides important insights into these debates.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThinking about Poverty
EditorsKlaus Serr
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherThe Federation Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781760021450
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • unemployment
  • poverty
  • underemployment
  • Global financial crisis


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