Industry News - Brotherhood of St Laurence article: Youth Unemployment jumps 88 per cent in parts of Australia

24/03/2014

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 Youth unemployment jumps 88 per cent in parts of Australia

Top spots for youth jobless spikes revealed   (Brotherhood Of St Laurence Article)

A stark new analysis has zeroed in on key areas across Australia where youth unemployment is growing the fastest.

Youth unemployment has spiked in key areas, jumping 88 per cent compared to the level of youth unemployment just two years ago, according to new ABS jobs data analysed by the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

If it continues to rise at the current rate, the level of youth unemployment will hit 46 per cent in parts of Australia in 2016, the revealing analysis of the new data found.

“Australia is facing a generational crisis,” warned Brotherhood of St Laurence Executive Director Tony Nicholson. ”For young people caught up in this jobless spiral this can be a road to long-term poverty and reliance on welfare.”

The ABS data examined by the Brotherhood of St Laurence confirms that youth unemployment is not only at crisis levels in many parts of Australia, but is growing at an alarming rate.

Over the past two years, youth unemployment has risen by:

  •  88 per cent in Cairns, reaching 21.6 per cent in the year to February 2014
  •  73 per cent in Baulkham Hills and the Hawkesbury, reaching 11.6 per cent in the year to February 2014
  •  71 per cent in Outback Northern Territory (including Alice Springs and Katherine), reaching 17.6 per cent in the year to February 2014
  •  70 per cent in Outback WA (including Kalgoorlie, Exmouth and Kununurra), reaching 13.6 per cent in the year to February 2014
  •  66 per cent in the Barossa and Yorke, reaching 15.6 per cent in the year to February 2014
  •  59 per cent in West and North West Tasmania (including Burnie and Devonport) , reaching 20.5 per cent in the year to February 2014
  •  48 per cent in Outer East Melbourne (including Ringwood, Croydon and Lilydale), reaching 12.4 per cent in the year to February 2014
  •  13 per cent in the ACT, reaching 10.8 per cent in the year to February 2014

At these rates of increase, the new analysis forecasts youth unemployment by 2016 will hit:

  •  46.0 per cent in Cairns
  •  20.8 per cent in Baulkham Hills and the Hawkesbury
  •  30.4 per cent in Outback Northern Territory
  •  28.3 per cent in Outback WA
  •  26.9 per cent in the Barossa and Yorke
  •  33.2 per cent in West and North West Tasmania
  •  18.8 per cent in Outer East Melbourne
  •  12.4 per cent in the ACT

”We know youth unemployment has a profoundly scarring effect on young people that will hurt their life chances, including the prospect of even holding down a job further down the track,” Mr Nicholson said.

”This is also bad news for the Australian economy. Future growth and productivity critically depends on the ability of our young people to develop their potential and aspirations. The current job market is a tough environment for all young people, especially those who are disadvantaged.”

Mr Nicholson warned: “We can’t just stand by idly and watch this scenario unfold in our communities.”

The Brotherhood of St Laurence last month identified youth unemployment ‘hotspots’ around the country.

The analysis out today builds on this picture to zero in on key areas in Australia’s cities and regions where youth unemployment is growing the fastest. The Brotherhood looked at youth unemployment rates in regions across Australia, averaged over the 12 months to February 2012 in each region, then compared them with youth unemployment rates averaged over the 12 months to February 2014.

In February, a campaign for youth employment

My Chance, Our Future was launched and includes a monthly online tool – the Youth Unemployment Monitor (e-newsletter) – to track the growing crisis.

Today, the March edition of the Youth Unemployment Monitor has been released. It includes more key facts and analysis, as well as accounts from professionals working at the frontline of the youth unemployment crisis.

For more information and interviews, phone the Brotherhood’s communications manager Deborah Morris on 0450 784 847.

See Snapshot with costs of youth unemployment and maps of where youth unemployment has risen most:

http://www.bsl.org.au/pdfs/MyChanceOurFuture-March.pdf

 

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