Australia – Youth underemployment reaches 40-year high

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By (Danny Romero)

The underemployment rate for Australian youth aged 15-24 has reached 18% in February, the highest rate in 40 years according to a report from community organisation the Brotherhood of St. Laurence.

The report, titled ‘Generation Stalled: Young, Underemployed and Living Precariously in Australia’, found that in total, more than 650,000 young people were unemployed or underemployed in February 2017.

Underemployed is defined as having some work but wanting more hours. The 18% underemployment rate figure surpassed the youth unemployment rate which stood at 13.5%.

The report also said young people were far more likely to be in casual and part-time jobs than at the beginning of this millennium.

Other key findings show that in the past 15 years the average gap has widened between the actual working hours of young underemployed people and the hours they would like to work. Furthermore, the growing number of young people combining study with work does not explain the rise in underemployment, as the rise in the percentage of casual and part-time jobs has mostly been among young workers who are not studying.

Tony Nicholson, Executive Director at the Brotherhood of St. Laurence commented, ““The record level of underemployment and stubbornly high unemployment particularly hurts the 60% of young people who don’t go to university and lack the qualifications and skills to navigate the fast-changing modern economy.”

“Stable work is the passport for our young people to build a good life for themselves. Young people starting out today face a much harsher job scenario than their parents and grandparents did,” Nicholson said.

The report uses data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey.

Source:: Australia – Youth underemployment reaches 40-year high


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