Youth Unemployment Statistics Father James Grant Foundation Youth Unemployment

Youth Unemployment: The 2018 Landscape

Last year yielded some good news for young Australians seeking employment but there remain significant challenges for a younger generation looking to embrace permanent full-time work, according to a recent report by the Australian Government.

Entitled Jobs 2018, the report analyses current and emerging trends in the employment sector, with a section devoted to youth employment statistics. It notes youth unemployment is falling, but still remains double the average of the general working population.

Here’s an insight into Jobs 2018 and what it means for Australia’s young workers.

Welcome news

As of the end of last year, 12,380,100 Australians were employed with that figure expected to grow by 7.8 percent between now and 2022.

More than two-thirds of this workforce is employed full-time, with young people aged 15-24 accounting for 14 percent of total employment.

That’s welcome news for young workers in terms of their future and current employment situation, but still represents a sector with employment statistics far below the national norm.

Disproportionate statistics

In 2018, the overall youth unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percent. It was a shift the government described as “strong” and saw a rise of 43,800 employed young workers over the past year.

Despite the overall improvement, youth unemployment still sat at 12.3% in January 2018, or twice the national average, with the report further noting: “many young people are continuing to encounter difficulties when trying to secure work, and are facing longer spells of unemployment, with the burden of long-term unemployment (LTU) being disproportionately felt by youth”.

The long-term unemployment issue

Long-term youth unemployment presents an interesting issue for policymakers. The report indicates young people now comprise 26.6 percent of the long-term unemployed pool, compared with the 22.6 percent recorded in September 2008.

That’s partly driven by the positive news more young people are continuing their education. Over half (53.2 percent) of youth were participating in full-time education in January 2018, well above the 47.2 percent recorded in September 2008.

But this is tempered by the reality that even when they complete higher education, their long-term employment prospects are still less positive than they were a decade ago.

In 2008, 85.2 percent of higher education graduates walked into a full-time role. In 2018, that figure is 71.8 percent for those with a bachelor degree. It marks an improvement on the recent low of 68.1 percent in 2014, but still sees over a quarter of university graduates under-employed or not employed at all.

“There has also been an increase in the proportion of graduates who are employed in an occupation that is not commensurate with their level of educational attainment,” the report continues.

“This suggests that graduates are ‘pushing down’ into lower skill level occupations where they are competing with people with far fewer or no qualifications, such as the long-term unemployed and unskilled young people.”

The upshot

The upshot of the employment landscape is young workers still face immense challenges when entering the workforce, regardless of whether they have attained a degree.

Many remain underemployed, many face long-term unemployment, many are employed in roles where their skill set is above what is required. The flow-on effect sees unskilled young workers face even greater hurdles when entering employment.

As Australia transitions and loses the Baby Boomer generation from the workforce, young workers will become an invaluable asset in filling vacated roles.

The onus lies with employers to ensure they have the experience and the prospects that see them ready, willing and able to take up the future work challenge.

Become involved

The Father James Grant Foundation partners with corporate entities and organisations to offer on-the-job training and mentoring for young people looking to enter the workforce.

We tailor each program to the business involved; working with business to impart the skills they require and instill the employee ethos they seek.

If you are a business looking to participate, there are two ways to become involved: you can assist through workplace training or mentoring, or alternatively, assist the program through sponsorship.

Either way, the businesses involved are helping to change Australia’s employment landscape at a time when the youth jobless rate is at its highest in years.

Learn more about our programs or contact us directly to become involved.

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