Shut borders ends youth unemployment depression

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 immensely from the closure of Australia’s international border to immigration.

While overall youth employment is still yet to return to its pre-COVID level, with total jobs still down 6,900 from their pre-COVID peak and full-time jobs down 18,200:

Youth unemployment

Strong recovery.

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The youth unemployment rate was only 10.2% in June, which was close to the lowest rate of unemployment since January 2009:

Youth unemployment rate

Lowest since January 2009.

This comes despite the youth participation rate running 1.1% above its March 2020 pre-COVID level:

Youth participation

Youth participation booming.

The youth underemployment rate is also running 2.3% below its pre-COVID level:

Youth underemployment rate

Also down but more work to do.

The reason why the unemployment rate has fallen despite annual job losses and rising participation is because the youth population fell by 124,600 (3.9%) in the 15 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, last month:

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.

Non-resident workers

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.

Unconventional Economist

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