Youth underemployment hits another all-time high

Yesterday’s ABS labour force release for August revealed a mixed Australian youth labour market – i.e. those aged 15 to 24 years old – with falling unemployment offset by a record rise in underemployment.

The trend headline unemployment rate fell slightly to 11.70% in September:

Total employment growth for those aged 15-24 years was dead flat in September, but has dived over the past year:

Employment for those aged 15-24 years of age rose by 1.2% in trend terms in the year to September, below the 2.6% for the rest of the labour market.

Full-time jobs growth was 0.6% whereas part-time jobs growth was 1.1%, with full-time jobs fading fast:

Youth labour force participation continues to recover but remains way below the pre-GFC experience, suggesting substantial hidden youth unemployment still exists:

Since the GFC hit 11 years ago, overall youth employment has risen by just 2.4% in trend terms, well below the 9.6% lift in the youth population over this time, and full-time jobs are down an incredible 17.2%. By contrast, the overall number of jobs for the rest of the labour force has risen by 23.6%, with full-time employment up 19.3%:

Youth underemployment rose to a record high 18.2% in September, whereas underutilisation was a near record high 29.9%:

In short, the youth labour market remains way oversupplied, despite the latest fall in headline unemployment.

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