Precarious stability: jobless families in the new millenium

Document Type


Publication details

Hartman, YA 2002, 'Precarious stability: jobless families in the new millenium', Journal of Economic and Social Policy, vol. 7, no. 1, article 5.

Published version available from:


Peer Reviewed



This paper characterises the condition of jobless families today as one of 'precarious stability' and argues that an outcome of policy changes is the fragmentation of the lives of jobless families, especially in regional communities. Their lived experience is illustrated and compared with the Great Depression. While jobless families now enjoy some stability at the level of basic survival, they experience their condition in isolation, and need to supplement their benefits by precarious employment. Because of the stigma associated with income support, it is hidden from public view, often locking its recipients into a privatised nightmare from which the increasingly parttime, casualised labour market offers little relief.

Find in your library