The questions that count

Does Australia have a working poor?

Jul 10, 2012

Charities are reporting a 50 per cent increase in calls for help and most are coming from underpaid workers, says Ged Kearney.


Australia’s economic success amidst global uncertainty is the envy of the international community. Yet despite Australia’s glowing report card, there is a growing class of people known as “the working poor”.

These are people who are most often employed in the service industry, working shifts and surviving on a day-to-day basis. They are paid the minimum wage which is actually less than half the average wage in Australia. ACTU President Ged Kearney tells 3Q this section of the population have slipped through the gap and are not part of the national debate.

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