Australia’s youth smashed by lockdowns

Yesterday’s employment report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed that Australia’s youth – defined as those aged 16 to 24 – have been hit hard by lockdowns.

Total youth jobs fell 81,300 in September, driven by an 83,600 reduction in part-time jobs, partly offset by a 2,300 increase in full-time jobs.

Accordingly, youth jobs are down 162,600 from their pre-COVID peak with full-time jobs down 31,600 and part-time jobs down 131,000:

The youth unemployment rate rose 0.1% to 10.8% in September, but remained 0.8% lower than its pre-COVID level of 11.6%:

The youth participation rate fell 2.7% in September to 64.4% and was running 3.6% below its pre-COVID level:

The youth underemployment rate also rose by 1.5% in September to 18.1% but is running 0.4% below its pre-COVID level:

Australia’s youth would be in a far worse employment position had their population not fallen by 138,500 (4.3%) in the 18 months since COVID hit in March 2020:

The reason for this sharp fall in youth population is that around 500,000 temporary migrants have left Australia – most of these international students:

Temporary visa holders

Big fall in temporary visa holders.

These temporary visa holders tend to work in low skilled industries like hospitality that employ young Australians:

Temporary migrants

Migrants compete with young Aussies for jobs.

As noted by RBA economists:

The largest growth in migration by far has been for unskilled migrants, primarily students, working holiday makers and family visa holders. These migrants have partial or full work rights and tend to work in the lowest paid jobs, for which domestic labour is relatively easily substitutable.

The above data is bonafide proof that the collapse in immigration is benefiting Australia’s youth. The reduction in young migrant workers has offset the loss of youth jobs, resulting in better employment opportunities for Australia’s youth.

Put another way, Australia’s youth would be experiencing mass unemployment if immigration had continued at its manic pre-COVID level.

Unconventional Economist
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