in Australia, it’s about gender

The great resignation is apparently upon us — workers are walking away from bad jobs. But in Australia, the exodus of women from the workforce says more about structural barriers than worker empowerment.

(Image: Private Media)

Have you heard? The so-called great resignation is afoot. A world where an empowered workforce say “no” to bad bosses and a life dictated by work. In the US, increased job departures have been coined a “revolution in workers’ expectations”.

Australian workers were squeezed for an average 6.1 hours unpaid overtime per week in 2021 — a substantial increase on 2020. If only expectations matched reality.

In Australia, employers crow about shortages in low-paid, “churn and burn” jobs of which they refuse to improve the quality. Meanwhile, 700,000 people are unemployed, and 1.3 million are in jobs, but need more work. Around 1 million more aren’t looking for work, but want to work and are available. The ABS calls them “marginally attached” and “discouraged” workers.

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