Thursday, 18 June 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
JOB LOSSES DEVASTATING YOUNG AUSTRALIANS
Today’s May labour force figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) paint a devastating picture of the unemployment crisis facing young Australians.
16.1 per cent of our young people are now without work, well more than double the national average of 7.1 per cent. There are now more than 311,000 unemployed young Australians.
Of the 227,700 jobs lost nationally in May, 45 per cent of them were young people – showing the disproportionately heavy burden young people are carrying.
The youth participation rate is also the lowest on record, with only around three in five young people participating in the labour market. This figure masks the extent of the employment crisis and shows just how many young people have given up looking for work.
Young people have been the biggest casualties of the unemployment crisis, with many previously working in casual, insecure and gig work, and in hard hit industries such as hospitality and the arts.
Behind all of these statistics are young people who no longer have a workplace to go to, are struggling to afford the basics like food and rent, and are facing an uncertain and scary future.
We know unemployment has a ripple effect through the lives of young people, with repercussions including mental health challenges and risk of homelessness.
The less done to protect jobs and support vulnerable workers, including our young people, in the coming months, the harder and longer the recovery will be.
In the face of the biggest challenge this generation of young Australians has ever faced, they have been met largely with silence from their Minister for Youth and flippancy from the Prime Minister. It is not good enough.
Labor calls on the Minister and the Morrison Government to start showing leadership on the youth unemployment crisis and ensure our young people are not left out and left behind in the recovery.