Economic benefits of closing the gap in Indigenous employment outcomes

Economic benefits of closing the gap in Indigenous employment outcomes Report

  • Author(s): Deloitte Access Economics
  • Published: 2014
  • Publisher: Reconciliation Australia

Abstract: The social and economic disadvantage faced by many Indigenous Australians is widely recognised. More seldom acknowledged is the cost this disadvantage imposes on the Australian economy. If Indigenous disadvantage were to be effectively addressed, in addition to the primary benefit of improved life experiences and a better future for Indigenous Australians, broader society would benefit from increased economic activity and reduced government outlays. This report presents work conducted for Reconciliation Australia by Deloitte Access Economics that explores the economic benefits of addressing Indigenous disadvantage. Specifically, the report considers the impact on economic growth and government budgets associated with ‘closing the gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in life expectancy, employment outcomes and productivity. The scenario provides a ‘what if’ style analysis based on a hypothetical Australia where Indigenous Australians face the same health and labour market outcomes as other Australians. The focus is on ‘what could be’. The complex policy and program mechanics of how to effectively address the ongoing disadvantage faced by Indigenous Australians are not considered. The work conducted here represents an update and expansion of similar work which Access Economics conducted for Reconciliation Australia in 2008. The potential economic gains estimated in this report – greater national wealth and stronger government budgets – illustrate the benefits which broader society would achieve as a result of improvements to Indigenous life-expectancy, employment and productivity. These gains complement the primary benefits of addressing Indigenous disadvantage, namely enhancing the wellbeing and life experiences of Indigenous Australians.

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Suggested Citation
Deloitte Access Economics, 2014, Economic benefits of closing the gap in Indigenous employment outcomes, Report, viewed 13 August 2022,

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