Disability and employment across the life course

two men in blue overalls using machinery at a workbench

Despite growing rates of disability in the population, there are major gaps in our understanding of the relationship between disability and employment over the life cycle.

The dynamic nature of disability calls for longitudinal measures, which reflect its prevalence over an individual’s lifetime. To date, however, few studies have examined the lifetime pattern of disability and how this relates to employment. Using 17 years of longitudinal data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey (2001-2017), we analyse the disability employment gap over the life cycle of individuals aged 15-64.

We further conduct a detailed analysis into the mechanisms underlying the employment gaps at different age categories. The results carry important implications for the targeting of policies to reduce employment gaps for people with disability in Australia.

Research Team

Associate Professor Dennis Petrie, Monash University
Dr Samia Badji, Monash University
Dr Michael Palmer, University of WA
Dr George Disney, University of Melbourne