Yesterday’s employment report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed that Australia’s youth – defined as those aged 16 to 24 – continue to benefit from the closure of Australia’s international border.
While overall youth employment is yet to return to its pre-COVID level, with total jobs still down 17,400 from their pre-COVID peak with full-time jobs down 36,600:
The youth unemployment rate was only 10.7% in May, which was close to the lowest rate of unemployment since January 2009:
This comes despite the youth participation rate running 1.0% above its March 2020 pre-COVID level:
The youth underemployment rate also hit a 7-year low of 15.8%:
The reason why the unemployment rate has fallen despite annual job losses and rising participation is because the youth population fell by 116,900 (4.0%) in the 14 months since COVID hit in March 2020 due to the loss of temporary migrants.
This loss of migrant workers was illustrated spectacularly by CBA head of Australian economics, Gareth Aird, on Wednesday:
The number of non-resident workers declined from 521k in Q1 20 to 235k in Q1 21. That number will continue to fall whilst the international border remains closed.
This is proof positive that the collapse in immigration is benefiting Australia’s youth.
In summary, the reduction in young migrant workers has more than offset the loss of youth jobs, resulting in better employment opportunities for Australia’s youth.
Next stop, wage growth.
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