Youth labour market turns nasty

Yesterday’s ABS labour force release for October revealed a sharp deterioration in Australia’s youth labour market – i.e. those aged 15 to 24 years old – with falling jobs growth and rising unemployment and underemployment.

The trend headline unemployment rate rose to 12.05% in October:

Total employment growth for those aged 15-24 years fell to 0.5% in October, and has dived over the past year, badly underperforming the rest of the labour market (2.3% growth):

Full-time jobs growth was just 0.3% whereas part-time jobs growth was 0.6%, with full-time jobs fading fast:

Youth labour force participation is also fading and remains way below pre-GFC levels, suggesting substantial hidden youth unemployment exists:

Since the GFC hit 11 years ago, overall youth employment has risen by just 2.3% in trend terms, well below the 9.5% 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 October, whereas underutilisation was a near record high 30.2%:

In short, the youth labour market is deteriorating and remains way oversupplied.

Leith van Onselen

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