Full-time jobs evaporate for Australian youth

Yesterday’s ABS labour force release for December revealed a mixed outcome for Australia’s youth labour market – i.e. those aged 15 to 24 years old – with annual jobs growth falling, but unemployment and underemployment improving.

The trend headline unemployment rate fell further to 11.59% in December:

However, total employment growth for those aged 15-24 years also fell to 0.6% in December, and has dived over the past year, badly underperforming the rest of the labour market (2.3% growth):

Full-time jobs continued to retrench, falling by 1.2% in year to December. By contrast, part-time jobs growth improved to 2.0%:

Youth labour force participation is treading water at 68% and remains way below pre-GFC levels, suggesting substantial hidden youth unemployment exists:

Since the GFC hit 11-plus years ago, overall youth employment has risen by just 2.2% in trend terms, well below the 9.3% lift in the youth population over this time, and full-time jobs are down an incredible 17.5%. By contrast, the overall number of jobs for the rest of the labour force has risen by 24.1%, with full-time employment up 19.6%:

Youth underemployment improved to 17.4% in December, whereas underutilisation was at 28.9%, with both at historically high levels:

In a nutshell, the youth labour market remains way oversupplied.

Leith van Onselen
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