EXTRACT from an article by Anna Patty
Declan Myers has been looking for full-time work since he finished school half way through year 11 last year.
The 18-year-old works an average of six hours a day, two days a week, in a retail job and lives with his parents in Springwood in the Blue Mountains. But with his parents planning to move interstate within 12 months, Declan wants to work more hours so he can live independently…
A Brotherhood of St Laurence analysis of official statistics shows that, while underemployment had remained relatively steady in the 10 years since the global financial crisis for people aged 25 and older, it had risen steeply for those aged 20 to 24 from 9.1 per cent to 16 per cent this year.
Underemployment refers to workers who have part-time work but want more hours. The data also shows that 44 per cent of young people aged 20 to 24 are now in a part-time job, compared with 10 per cent in 1978. More than one in three employed young women and one in five employed young men were in part-time jobs.
Conny Lenneberg, executive director of the Brotherhood of St Laurence, said young Australians faced challenges their parents and grandparents could not have imagined. “The combination of youth underemployment and unemployment poses enormous risks, especially for disadvantaged young people,” she said.
We know that to get better outcomes for young people we need to be working with local employers
and tap into community efforts to enable them to find sustainable jobs
The report said the trends reflected the shift to a service economy, with jobs particularly concentrated in the hospitality, retail, beauty therapy and fitness industries and among personal care givers and labourers.
The report’s findings back separate research from Jeff Borland at the University of Melbourne that found almost half the increase in the share of part-time employment was in retail trade, accommodation and food services.
Ms Lenneberg said policy makers could improve Australia’s young people negotiate the world of work.
“As a start, it’s time to offer all job hunters aged 15 to 25 a specialist youth employment service, rather than the nation’s still fragmented response,” she said. “Amid big structural shifts in the globalised economy, we must also stop blaming job hunters for the fraught situation they find themselves in.”
SOURCE: Patty, Anna. “‘Survival Job’: Steep lift in young people hunting more hours at work.” The Age, 3 December 2018.
Link to website [open access 4 December 2018]
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