Pandemic’s ongoing impact on youth employment

Wednesday, 01 December 2021

Today’s Mission Australia Youth Survey Report 2021 highlights the ongoing impact of the pandemic on young Australians and their futures.

The pandemic and its impacts remain at the top of young peoples’ minds, with 45.7 per cent of respondents saying it was their biggest concern, up 7 per cent from 2020.

We know young people have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and one of the key areas has been employment and job security.

The most recent ABS Labour Force Figures show youth unemployment is now 13.1 per cent, which higher than pre-pandemic levels, and well over double the general unemployment rate (5.2 per cent).

The monthly jump in youth unemployment was at four times the rate of the general population (2.3 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively).

Mission Australia’s survey confirms the severity of the youth unemployment crisis, with respondents identifying that COVID-19 had negatively impacted their employment (30.1 per cent), financial security (24.3 per cent) and housing (6.9 per cent).

Over half of those surveyed (54 per cent) reported that were not in paid employment, and this jumps to 58.9 per cent for First Nations youth.

We already know that too many young Australians want and need more work, with the youth underemployment rate at 17.5 per cent.

The survey confirmed this trend, with part-time employment higher in 2021 than 2020 (45.4 per cent compared to 40.5 per cent).

For too long the Morrison Government has taken a “nothing to see here” attitude when it comes to the issues impacting young people.

They have failed to take meaningful and effective action to address the challenges and barriers facing young Australians, including the growing need for more secure and permanent work.

Younger Australians have suffered a disproportionate impact from COVID-19 on their employment prospects, financial security, and social wellbeing.

Yet the Coalition Government continues to ignore the voices of young Australians and leave them out of the decisions that affect their future.

Mission Australia noted “young people need to be at the centre of policy and service design and development, to bring their unique perspective to bear on issues that affect them and on the development of solutions.”

Labor agrees, which is why we have committed to a new youth engagement model under an Albanese Labor Government, to provide young Australians with a strong, formalised engagement in government and policy making.

Labor also continues to call on the Morrison Government to develop a Youth Recovery Strategy – something we have been urging for well over a year now.

We cannot leave an entire generation of Australians behind.

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