‘Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil …’
The first lines of the national anthem, Advance Australia Fair, are a familiar refrain. But the expansive promise of ‘wealth for toil’ is eluding far too many young people in contemporary Australia.
The story of youth employment in our prosperous country has become a tale of two Australias. Amid more than 20 years of overall economic growth, youth unemployment is rife in some
communities, and geography is helping shape a young person’s destiny. While some parts of the nation offer young people abundant opportunity, in other areas Australia’s young job hunters are
struggling for their chance.
A headline national youth unemployment rate of 12.2 per cent – which continues at more than double the rate of overall unemployment – masks striking locational differences. In five regions, all
outside capital cities, unemployment among 15 to 24 year olds in the labour force exceeds 20 per cent.
Youth unemployment is at its extreme – more than 65 per cent – in a thinly populated but vast tract of land in the Queensland outback, encompassing Cape York as well as the mining centres of
Mount Isa and Weipa.
This report maps youth unemployment trends, zeroing in on 12-month averages to identify 20 ‘hotspots’ that have the highest youth unemployment rates in Australia. Comparing their current
youth unemployment rates with two years ago reveals that in all but one of those hotspot regions youth unemployment had worsened.
Conversely, in the 20 regions with the lowest youth unemployment rates in 2018, all but two recorded lower rates today than two years ago.(Continues …)
SOURCE: Brotherhood of St Laurence. “An Unfair Australia: Mapping youth unemployment hotspots.” Youth Unemployment Monitor, March 2018.
A key part of our campaign is the Monitor, an enewsletter which is a useful source of information and policy analysis. But it’s not all facts and figures. We present the human stories of youth unemployment and the challenges young people face today.
Link to the Brotherhood’s Youth Unemployment Monitor website
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia