Four Dimensions of Quality in Australian Jobs

Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 07/19

Date: September 2019


David C. Ribar
Mark Wooden


We develop and analyze comprehensive, multi-item scales of the quality of Australian jobs, using the rich measures of job characteristics from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey. Through exploratory methods and multidimensional Item Response Theory modeling, we uncover four gender-specific scales that describe the autonomy, demands/engagement, compensation adequacy, and security of jobs. From 2001 to 2016, women’s job demands/engagement and compensation adequacy grew noticeably, and men’s job demands/engagement grew somewhat. Since the mid-2000s, women’s and men’s job security have fallen. Job quality rises with job tenure, work experience, and health and falls following involuntary job changes.

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