Transitions Out of Casual Employment: The Australian Experience




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    •  The authors’ affiliation is Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne. E-mail: This paper is based on research commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, and uses the confidentialized unit record file from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey (release 5.0). The HILDA Survey Project was initiated, and is funded, by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, and is managed by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research. Additional funding was provided by the Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Melbourne. We gratefully acknowledge the important contributions made by each of the aforementioned organizations. Of course, the findings and views reported in this paper are those of the authors alone. We also thank Suzan Ghantous for assistance with the preparation of data.


This paper uses longitudinal data to examine the extent to which casual employees, who account for almost 25 percent of all Australian employees, are able to access non-casual jobs in the future, and to contrast their experiences with that of other labor market participants. A dynamic mixed multinomial logit model of labor market states is estimated which reveals high rates of mobility from casual employment into non-casual employment. Among men, casual employees are found to be far more likely to make the transition into non-casual employment than otherwise comparable unemployed job seekers. For women, however, this is not the case.