Yesterday’s ABS labour force release for December revealed that Australia’s youth unemployment rate – i.e. for those aged 15 to 24 years old – fell sharply on the back of a sharp fall in the participation rate.
The headline youth unemployment rate fell 1.7% to 13.9% but remains more than 2.5 times higher than the rest of the labour market (5.2%):
Youth jobs rose by 4,400 versus a 45,700 increase in jobs across the rest of the labour market, with youth jobs still 81,700 below their March pre-COVID level:
In annual growth terms, youth jobs have fallen by 4.2% versus a 0.2% increase across the rest of the labour market.
Full-time youth jobs have declined by 68,100 since March, versus a 13,600 decline in part-time jobs:
In annual growth terms, full-time jobs are down 9.5% year-on-year versus no change (0.0%) in part-time jobs.
The participation rate fell by 1.1% to 68.6% in December and is now 0.3% above its March pre-COVID level:
This largely explains why the unemployment rate fell sharply despite the lacklustre jobs growth.
Youth underemployment fell by 0.6% to 15.8%, whereas underutilisation (unemployment and underemployment combined) fell by 2.2% to 29.7%:
The youth labour market is clearly rebounding; albeit not as quickly as the rest of the labour market.