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In this paper the authors argue that Australia's labour market features too much unemployment, underemployment or associated forms of labour market insecurity. The later term implies a weak or tenuous connection to the labour force through underemployment or involuntary casual or part-time work and/or low wages or other manifestations of weakness vis-?-vis employers. The direct and indirect costs of such malfunctions in the labour market are reflected in a range of economic, social, health and other costs (Watts 2000; Saunders and Taylor 2002). Estimates of the costs of unemployment and underemployment range from $20 to $40bn per annum in Australia (Watts 2000).
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