Occupational Profiles of Men since 1947

Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 23/99

Date: October 1999


Elizabeth Webster


The discordance between the rising demand for skilled workers and the high numbers of men with limited schooling raises concern that sections of the male labour market will become increasingly at risk economic marginalisation over coming decades. This paper is an attempt to provide more information on the male labour market by documenting the occupational career paths of several cohorts of men since the Second World War. Occupations have been divided into 10 major groupings and an attempt has been made as far as possible to keep major occupational definitions consistent over time. The dominant trend is that more recent cohorts of men are more likely to leave the labour market as they age and be unemployed or be employed in a higher skilled job rather than be employed in a middle skilled job. Relative employment in low skilled labouring jobs was relatively stable. These patterns are found among all major educational attainment groups.

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