With the Australian population ageing and experiencing increasing rates of some risk factors such as obesity, chronic disease prevalence is on the rise. Chronic disease can result in functional limitation and disability associated with ill health. As a result, people with chronic disease may be limited in their ability to participate fully in the workforce. For this report, the 2004-05 National Health Survey has been used to assess the association between selected chronic diseases and workforce participation and absenteeism from work. The report also includes an estimate of the loss to the workforce due to death from selected chronic diseases. This report is a timely reminder of the cost of chronic disease to both the community and economy and provides further evidence for national action to prevent chronic disease.