Aussie youth join labour market rebound

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday released labour market data for the month of February, which revealed that the youth labour market (i.e Australians aged 15-24) has joined the broader market rebound.

Australia’s youth unemployment rate was 12.9% in February, down from 14.0% in January. This compares to an unemployment rate of 4.5% across the rest of the labour market.

Youth unemployment fell sharply in February 2021.

Youth jobs rose by 30,600 in February versus a 58,000 increase in jobs across the rest of the labour market, with youth jobs still 72,600 below their March pre-COVID level:

By comparison, jobs across the rest of the labour market are 76,200 above their pre-COVID level.

In annual growth terms, youth jobs have fallen by 3.0% versus a 0.5% increase across the rest of the labour market.

Youth full-time youth jobs have declined by 7.6% year-on-year versus a 0.5% increase in part-time jobs:

Youth full-time jobs growth remains sharply negative.

The participation rate rose by 0.3% to 68.6% in February and is now 0.3% above its March pre-COVID level:

Youth labour force participation is now higher than the pre-COVID peak.

Youth underemployment rose by 1.0% at 16.8% whereas underutilisation (unemployment and underemployment combined), fell by 0.1% to 29.7%:

Youth underutilisation remains very high.

While the rebound is welcome, the youth labour market is recovering at a slower pace than the broader labour market.

Unconventional Economist
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