Applying SDAC 2009 to the OECD Integration Scenario for Disability Employment


Brendan Long, National Disability Services, 23 Storey Street, Curtin, Australian Capital Territory 2605, Australia. Email:


The paper analyses Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURF) data from the 2009 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Survey of Ageing, Disability and Carers (SDAC) to estimate the proportion of Australians with disability and an employment restriction who are not in the labour force and who want to work. This result was 24–26 per cent depending on the treatment of various survey responses. This represents a pool of 200,000 persons not in the labour force with disability who state they can work. This work intention rate is higher than the EU average overall, but tends to be lower than the EU average for older men and higher for younger women with disability outside of the labour market. The OECD integration model for persons with disability has relied upon the EU average work intention rate. This analysis applies the SDAC work intention rate to the OECD model. The SDAC data combined with updated population and labour force projections validate the previous conclusion of the OECD model: that in Australia allowing people with disability who want to work to enter find employment would reduce the fiscal gap caused by the ageing of the population by roughly a quarter.