Youth Unemployment

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.

For the full article please click here.

Call for Abstracts close in July for the Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference

The Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference will be held 9 -10 November 2015 in Melbourne and will focus on improving transitions for job seekers to help them achieve positive outcomes.

If you are interested in presenting at the Conference, the Call for Abstracts will be closing 31 July with the Program being designed around the following topics:

  • Tackling unemployment for at risk groups – disability, regional, youth, mature age, and indigenous
  • Other at risk groups including CALD, ex-offenders and those with mental illness
  • Whole of family approach and earlier intervention including jobless families
  • Return to work strategies
  • The new welfare reform environment
  • Federal government policy and programs
  • Employer engagement and diversity programs targeting employing the long term unemployed
  • Labour market trends and research
  • Job Creation
  • JSA, DES other Employment Programs
  • Education, training and skills for employment
  • Building personal networks and relationship form partnerships, alliances and shared experience


For more information on submitting an abstract, please click here.

For more information on the Conference, click here.

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.

Young people could be worse off than parents in crucial areas

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

Young Australians will be better off than their parents in health, technology and incomes but could be worse off in employment, housing, costs of living, the environment and quality of education, according to a report released today.

Prepared by the Foundation for Young Australians, the Renewing Australia’s Promise report says that job prospects for young people are in some ways more uncertain than 30 years ago.

Youth unemployment is more than 13%, increasing four percentage points in the past six years.

“This rise has led to the average young Australian spending an additional five months unemployed when young,” the report says.

“Today’s young people are three times more likely to be in part-time and casual work than their parents were at the same age. And they are 3.5 times more likely to be underemployed.”

For today’s youth, work has become more precarious and they are more tenuously attached to the labour force – reflecting both circumstance and choice.

For some, the quality of job opportunities has fallen. “Others are juggling the competing demands of work and study, and many are coping with the financial impact of rising education expenses.

“Some will take advantage of a more flexible labour market, where careers are not set for life.”

But the situation can be dangerous for many young people, the report warns, because “periods of unemployment and underemployment can cast a long shadow, reducing earnings and career achievement over the entire working lives of those affected”.

“While youth unemployment today is broadly unchanged from a generation ago, the headline data masks a significant change in the attachment of young people to the workforce,” the report says. “Youth underemployment has skyrocketed over the past 30 years from just over 4% to more than 16% today.

“Taking into account the unemployment and underemployment of today’s youth, the problem of insufficient work for young people is probably larger today than it was for their parents with close to 30% of young people in the labour force not working as much as they would like.”

While incomes for young people have risen “modestly” – their wages are 6.8% higher in real terms than 30 years ago – the report points out that expenses have gone up.

After adjustment for inflation, young people will on average pay 2.7 times what their parents did for their houses.

The parents of young people as they were entering the property market had an average home loan of $30,000, while for young people today the average loan for first home buyers is $308,000 – adjusted for inflation this is more than a tripling.

Educational attainment has risen significantly over the last 30 years, with the young 1.6 times more likely to finish school and 1.4 times more likely to gain tertiary qualifications.

But on some international benchmarks the quality of education is deteriorating, and the cost has risen dramatically since their parents’ day.

“The cost of higher education may rise over the next several years by 30% above the around $24,000 on average that a university degree already costs, a far cry from the free education experienced by their parents.”

The report says that when young Australians were surveyed about whether their lives would be better or worse than their parents, only 22% said better.

“So fewer than a quarter … were confident they would exceed the living standard of their parents.

“If the majority of young people are correct about their future welfare, they will be the first generation of Australians to do worse than their forebears.”

The report says that recent Australian policy debates have focused heavily on the ageing population.

“But it’s our young people who will provide the real solutions to the ageing challenge. Young people will be the taxpayers, the health workers, the leaders and the carers. It is their ingenuity and toil that will power Australia.

“That is why the flourishing of young people is important not just for their own sake, but for the benefit of all of us.”

Over the next 40 years the number of people under 24 will rise from 4.3 million to 6.3 million.

Foundation CEO Jan Owen said Australia urgently needed a national conversation about the challenges facing young people.

The Foundation for Young Australians is an independent non-profit organisation.

The ConversationMichelle Grattan does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
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