Youth under-employment at highest level in decades

NEW research has revealed under-employment of young Australians has hit its highest level in nearly four decades.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data found more than 580,000 young Australians were either under-employed or unemployed.

The report also revealed a growing trend of youth being under-employed had intensified since the global financial crisis.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence executive director Tony Nicholson said on Monday the data highlighted how much the job market had changed for youth attempting the transition from school to work.

He said more than 300,000 young Australians had casual or part-time jobs but wanted either more work or full-time positions.

"Young Australians are facing a dual assault on their aspirations for the future," he said.

"The unemployment rate for young people now stands at the highest since 2001 and the under-employment rate for young people is the highest since 1978.

"As a nation we really need to develop the potential of our emerging generation.

"Far too many of our young people are now at risk of joining the ranks of 'generation jobless' in the modern economy."


Mr Nicholson said that the global financial crisis had ushered in tighter labour markets, limited job opportunities and insecure employment.

He said there was fewer entry-level jobs and positions had become increasingly casual or temporary.

"Young people really do aspire to the same mainstream life goals as their parents and grandparents," he said.

"They want a home, a job, relationships and a decent income.

"Alarmingly, these goals are becoming unattainable for an increasing number of youth.

Mr Nicholson's comments follow the latest national unemployment figures released in July that revealed 14.1% of people aged 15 to 24 are looking for work.

Youth under-employment was first recorded in 1978 at 3.1% and currently sits at more than 15% - APN Newsdesk.