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Indigenous snapshot shows mixed news

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 23 June 2004


New figures show more Aboriginal people are getting jobs and higher education qualifications than ever before.

The details come from an eight-year report card on the lives of Indigenous Australians.

The Bureau of Statistics figures unveiled today reveal the unemployment rate for Indigenous people dropped from 38 per cent in 1994 to 23 per cent in 2002.

Also, the proportion of Aborigines with non-school qualifications such as university or TAFE more than doubled over the same period.


However the outlook is not all positive.

Indigenous people are far more likely to report health problems and to have a disability or a long-term health condition.

Despite improved job prospects, they only earn 59 per cent of the income of the non-Indigenous population.

The figures follow an Institute of Health and Welfare report which found the life expectancy of Indigenous Australians is still 20 years below the rest of the community.

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory's Aboriginal population earns less than half the average weekly wage but there has been a marked decline in Indigenous people on the dole since 1994, new statistics show.

The figures show an average weekly income of $329 for Aboriginal people compared with $755 for non-Indigenous people.

There has been a 9 per cent fall in the number of Aboriginal people who rely on government pensions and allowances as their main source of income.


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