ACSPRI Conferences, ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference 2010

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Getting a Job in Australia: Evidence from AuSSA2007 and Methodological Reflections

Xianbi Huang, Mark Western

Building: Holme Building
Room: MacCallum Room
Date: 2010-12-02 01:30 PM – 03:00 PM
Last modified: 2010-11-24


In this paper, we address the question of how Australians search for jobs by drawing on data from the Australian Survey of Social Attitudes (AuSSA) 2007. This is one of the first Australian analyses of this type. Our major findings include: (1) Job search methods coexist in Australian labour markets. As in most Western countries, in Australia market oriented methods predominate. Social networks play a significant role in helping people look for jobs, and hierarchical methods are used to realise internal transfers or reallocation within work organisations. (2) The use of job search methods varies by people's socioeconomic standing. People who have a university degree, higher income, or a professional and managerial occupation are more likely to use market oriented and hierarchical methods in their job searches. People who do not have a university degree, have a low income or do a labouring job are more dependent on using social networks than other job search methods. (3) Strong ties are the main provider of information for network users in job searches. People in low socioeconomic positions who heavily rely on strong ties may encounter difficulties in getting access to high quality information when seeking jobs. (4) Social networks do not have relatively significant effects on realising good job matches. People who use market oriented in their job searches are more likely to achieve good matches between their qualifications and employers' requirements. We also discuss the implications of our study and related methodological issues.