The Brotherhood of St Laurence has today released a new report on teenage unemployment, whereby one-in-five teenagers are now unemployed:
More than 290,000 Australian youth aged 15 to 24 were categorised as unemployed in January. The worst hit were the 15 to 19 year olds, with the unemployment rate for this group hitting 20 per cent – a level not seen since the mid 1990s. Nearly 160,000 Australians aged 15 to 19 were unemployed in January, out of an overall pool of more than 780,000 unemployed.
If you are 15 to 24 and looking for work, your probability of finding a job has steadily declined since the global financial crisis. Compared with other Australians, teenagers are less likely to move into a job from month to month and are more likely to fall into unemployment from month to month…
The chance of finding a job has been declining since the GFC. The probability of finding a job fell sharply for 15 to 19 year olds: by early 2015, less than 15 per cent of the unemployed in this group moved from unemployment into employment from one month to the next.This level is similar to that observed for this group in the early 1990s and is well below the overall job-finding probability.
Our analysis shows that young people are more likely to exit jobs than the rest of the population (Figure 3). This is especially true for the 15 to 19 year olds, for whom this probability is now more than 2.5 times that of the overall population.
Our findings on the educational levels of unemployed people are striking.Since the GFC, based on the HILDA data we found the proportion of the pool of unemployed people with less than Year 12 has declined… Meanwhile, the proportion of unemployed people with some tertiary education has increased since 2010.
With unemployment likely to worsen significantly as the mining investment boom unwinds and the local car assembly shutters, opportunities for Australia’s youth are likely to worsen further, which risks leaving an entire generation without hope and disillusioned.
These events will also require a large scale ‘reskilling’ of the workforce, which is highly unlikely to occur under current policy settings, which discourages on-the-job training in favour of a quick foreign worker fix.