‘A powerful analysis of the crippling effects of unemployment on people, families and communities by some of Australia’s leading social scientists… A landmark volume of substance and significance.’ – Professor Leon Mann

‘At last the true dimensions of the unemployment problem are identified and carefully analysed. A major contribution to the debate on one of our greatest policy failings. Buy it, read it!’  – Professor Sue Richardson

While our leaders celebrate Australia’s ‘economic miracle’, unemployment, particularly long-term unemployment, has become a permanent feature of Australia’s economic landscape. Its unacceptably high level has proved remarkably resistant in the face of sustained economic growth and increased prosperity. The adverse economic and social consequences of high unemployment are likely to leave long-term scars on those affected, as well as on local communities and the entire fabric of Australian society. Yet these effects rarely feature on the policy agenda, and the costs of unemployment remain largely invisible.

The price of prosperity: The economic and social costs of unemployment identifies for the first time the nature and impact of these costs at three distinct levels: those imposed directly on unemployed people and their families; those that affect the nature of community life; and those that give rise to economy-wide effects on Australian society. In this book, the issues are addressed by a group of leading researchers from a broad range of social science disciplines. These issues include: the impact of unemployment on family life; on specific groups including young people, retrenched workers and indigenous Australians; and on poverty, health, psychological wellbeing and criminal activity.