346,000 young Australians without work

Thursday, 13 August 2020

BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRY
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SCIENCE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS
MEMBER FOR GORTON

AMANDA RISHWORTH MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT
SHADOW MINISTER FOR YOUTH
MEMBER FOR KINGSTON

Today’s July ABS Labour Force Figures show that for first time ever there are over one million unemployed Australians, and of that 345,900 are young people.

Youth unemployment remains more than double the national rate at 16.3 per cent, and the underutilisation rate, representing young people who are either unemployed or looking for more hours, is now 35.9 per cent.

Compared with March, there are 100,000 more young people who have completely lost hope of finding a job, and are not represented in the unemployment figures.

The unemployment numbers are only expected to worsen, with today’s figures predating most of the Victorian lockdown.

Young Australians are not only facing the immediate consequences of unemployment, including homelessness and mental health challenges, but also the expected long-term impacts.

A recent report from the Productivity Commission highlighted the long-term issues young people could face after this recession, including plummeting wages, lower lifetime earnings and stifled career prospects.

Research from EY also showed that the average 21 year old entering the workforce now will likely miss out on over $30,000 over the next decade. With 90 per cent of a worker’s income growth occurring in the first decade of their career, this could have lifelong financial impacts.

If the work is not done now to get young Australians through this recession and into work, our young people could suffer the consequences for the rest of their lives.

The less done to protect jobs and support vulnerable workers, including young people, in the coming months, the harder and longer the recovery will be.

Scott Morrison must ensure young Australians are not left out and left behind in this recession.

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