Youth unemployment at ‘crisis’ levels in Victoria, regional areas worst affected

Article originally posted on ABC News 4 July 2015 by Liz Hobday

Almost one in five young people in regional Victoria cannot find work, fresh unemployment figures show.

The figures, from the Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS), indicate statewide youth unemployment stands at 16.1 per cent.

In Melbourne, the youth unemployment rate is 16.3 per cent, but the rate is higher in regional areas: in Warrnambool, 20.3 per cent; Geelong, 21 per cent; and in the Hume region in the north-east, 21.4 per cent.

“Youth unemployment is an absolute crisis in Victoria,” VCOSS chief executive Emma King said.

“We have got youth unemployment at levels that we simply haven’t seen since the global financial crisis. On top of that we’ve seen a significant shift in employment overall.

“So for young people, because there has been such a shift in employment and from manufacturing to the service industry, young people simply aren’t getting their fair share of jobs.”

There are almost 90,000 young Victorians out of work and not enough jobs to go around.

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Technology skills threat to older workers

Original article full title Technology skills threat to older workers: Staff risking long-term unemployment because training is ‘heavily-geared’ towards young people Published by Daily Mail Australia 16 April 2015 by Louise Eccles Business Correspondent

A generation of older workers are risking redundancy and long-term unemployment because of poor technology skills, it is claimed.
Experts said training was ‘heavily geared’ towards young people, meaning many older workers were left behind in the workplace. This left them vulnerable when companies start ‘shedding’ jobs.

While older generations often pride themselves on their numeracy and literacy skills, even these could ‘go stale’ with age, a study warned.
The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) said research showed that over-55s had the same literacy and numeracy skills as those aged 16 to 24 – and were worse at these skills than colleagues in their 30s and 40s.

The AAT said the death of a ‘job for life’ meant workers could no longer rely on loyalty to their company and experience to take them through to retirement with the same employer.

A survey by the AAT found that, while people in their twenties, thirties and forties aspired to take a master’s degree in the future or a vocational qualification, this stopped at 55, when most respondents said they were unlikely to undertake a formal qualification.

A third of over-55s cited their age as the reason for not wanting to take a new qualification.

Source Daily MailThe majority of older workers did not believe better computer skills would help them in their current job, while an astonishing one in 10 have never used a computer.

But the AAT said the reality was they may have a ‘lack of knowledge of what modern and technological tools there are available which could assist them carrying out their tasks’.

Mark Farrar, of the AAT, said: ‘Older generations are faced with the greatest barriers when it comes to reskilling.

‘Given rapid economic and technological changes, many traditional jobs are less secure than in the past and older workers are increasingly facing the threat of redundancy.

‘The UK’s ageing population is growing and the increased retirement age means people are working for longer.

‘The challenge is therefore to ensure people can continue to participate in the labour market at the later stage of their working lives.’

According to the Office for National Statistics, workers aged 55 and over are less likely to be unemployed than younger workers.

But older unemployed people are more likely to have been out of work for 12 months or longer, suggesting they find it harder to find a new job if they do find themselves out of work.

The accountancy body said older men were particularly vulnerable to job losses in the declining mining, agriculture and manufacturing industries, while women were heavily over-represented in the public sector so could face risks from cuts to civil servants.

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Surging NSW ensconced as number one state, WA slips

Published in the Sydney Morning Herald 20 April 2015 by Matt Wade

NSW has tightened its grip on number one spot in the nation’s economic rankings.

Robust population growth, healthy consumer spending and a surge of housing construction have helped make NSW the nation’s best-performing state economy for a third consecutive quarter, a report by Australia’s biggest bank said.

The State of the States report collated by Commonwealth Bank’s stockbroking arm, CommSec, showed NSW rose to the top in October last year at the expense of minerals-rich Western Australia. WA, which outshone other states during much of the mining boom, has now slipped to third behind NSW and Northern Territory. Victoria is the fourth-ranked economy but is closing fast on Western Australia. Tasmania was at the bottom of the economic performance table.

Photo by Quentin Jones

Photo by Quentin Jones

The CommSec report assesses each state according to economic growth, retail spending, equipment investment, unemployment, construction work, population growth, housing finance and dwelling commencements. The latest level of each indicator is compared with the state’s decade average.

It said NSW gained the top ranking for population growth, retail trade and housing starts. NSW was placed second on business investment, and housing finance. It was fourth for overall construction work and unemployment and fifth on economic growth.

To read the full article click here.

Twitter:  Sydney Morning Herald  @smh Matt Wade @MattWadeSMH

Perth suffers biggest unemployment increase of any Australian capital city

Published by The Sunday Times, 12 April 2015 by Peter Law @PeterJohnLaw

Perth recorded the biggest unemployment rise of any major Australian capital city last year, with limited public transport in battler suburbs partly blamed.

The number out of work in the northeast suburb of Girrawheen soared almost 50 per cent in 2014 – one of the biggest increases anywhere in Australia.

The suburb’s population has boomed over the past five years, but suffers from poor public transport connections to work centres, according to local leaders.

In the 12 months to December 2014, the number of Girrawheen residents unemployed increased from 12.2 per cent to 17.9 per cent.

Neighbouring Balga and Mirrabooka had Perth’s worst jobless rate, rising from 14.4 per cent to 18.9 per cent, according to the Employment Department’s Small Area Labour Markets report.

Big rises were also recorded in Armadale-Brookdale (16.7 per cent unemployment rate) Gosnells (12.1 per cent), Marangaroo (8.8 per cent) and Yanchep (7.8 per cent).

Image Source The Sunday Times

Image Source The Sunday Times

Unemployment across Perth increased 23.5 per cent over the year, compared with Brisbane (13.5 per cent), Melbourne (12.7 per cent) and Adelaide (4.9 per cent), while Sydney recorded a 1.7 per cent drop.

The figures came after WA iron ore miner Atlas Iron announced it would suspend all mining operations because of plunging iron ore prices, with more than 500 people expected to lose their jobs.

Yesterday, Australia’s richest woman, WA mining magnate Gina Rinehart, warned Australia could experience a shocking deterioration in living standards as debt levels approached unchartered territory and commodity prices crashed.

Out of Perth’s labour force of 1.12 million people, the number of unemployed rose from 47,500 people to 58,700.

Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said Perth’s unemployment rate of 5.2 per cent was still the nation’s equal lowest and well below the national average of 6.2 per cent.

Professor Alan Duncan, director of the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, said joblessness was rising faster in parts of Perth already with high unemployment.

To view the article in its entirety click here.

To view the Employment Department’s Small Area Labour Markets publications click here.