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Retrenchment in the Auto Industry – What have we learnt from three rounds of longitudinal data?

Andrew Beer


The collection of longitudinal data on the employment and other outcomes for workers made redundant with the closure of the Australian passenger vehicle industry is a centrepiece of Future Work, Future Communities. The project has always sought to build upon the insights of earlier work into large-scale closures, creating an evidence base to inform both theory-building and policy development. This paper considers the results of the first three waves of the longitudinal survey, highlighting the major trends with respect to job search outcome, the industries workers have moved into, forms of employment, income, sense of stability and the use of skills previously acquired in the automotive industry. The paper will explore the impact of exogenous factors, while also considering differences in outcomes between this suite of closures and the shutdown of auto industry plants in the first decade of the 21st Century.