The Australian newspaper reported a poll on December 20, 2010 of views on what causes the enormous unemployment rate for Aboriginal peoples in Australia. (American Indians suffer similarly very high unemployment rates in the USA on and off reservations.)
In the Australian poll, a lack of education is seen as the largest obstacle for Indigenous people seeking a job, and comes ahead of discrimination or welfare dependence concerns.
A survey of Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples also highlights a level of optimism among the younger Indigenous community, with more than half believing their racial heritage was no hurdle in getting a good job.
Among Indigenous people in their 20s, only 48 per cent agreed their heritage made it more difficult to get a job compared with 57 per cent of all people, but about half thought a lack of desire to work was a major contributor to high levels of unemployment among indigenous people.
Indigenous people blamed racism and alcohol problems more than non-indigenous people did. Charles Williams, the Aboriginal programs co-ordinator at Crown in Melbourne, agreed with the 7 per cent of respondents who cited a lack of confidence or self-esteem. Mr Williams said confidence and belief in themselves was the main barriers faced by Indigenous jobseekers.
The survey was taken of more than 1000 non-indigenous people and about 470 in the Indigenous community.
Among indigenous people, 39 per cent cited a lack of education and training as the key cause of unemployment in their community, with about one-third of the wider community agreeing.
The second-most important cause cited by the Indigenous community was discrimination by employers, but the wider community believed welfare and a lack of work ethic among indigenous people were more important in causing unemployment.