55+ and working in an established rural regional Australian labour market

John Hicks, Parikshit Basu, Richard Sappey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In rural regional Australia, the combination of an ageing population and rural-based employment, particularly for farmers (including farm managers), indicates labour markets which pose policy challenges for governments. The rural regional labour market in Australia analysed in this paper includes relatively high levels of farmers and it is argued that this group is ageing more rapidly relative to other groups of workers. This is because there is a reduced propensity amongst the younger generation to move into farming and a higher propensity of older workers to stay on in the workforce. While the employment prospects of older farmers continues to be relatively high, their income prospects appear to be relatively low. The occupation is complicated by the nature of their personal assets which can be both a home and a business asset and which for those with children presents succession problems. We argue that with declining farm incomes the opportunity to realize capital invested in their farm is diminished requiring farmers to work on well beyond the age at which others are able to retire and raising the issue of how their inevitable need for welfare assistance can be delivered and funded.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalEmployment Relations Record
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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