Youth unemployment in Australia is stagnating at levels not seen this century and is at crisis point in outback Queensland, ABC News reports.
Analysis of official data by the Brotherhood of St Laurence shows a youth jobless rate of 25.7 per cent in Cape York, Weipa, Mount Isa and Longreach, which is more than double the official rate of 11.2 per cent for people aged between 15 and 25 across Australia as a whole.
The Anglicare-associated charity crunched Bureau of Statistics data to map the top 20 hotspots where youth unemployment has become a critical social issue, in defiance of the overall seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5 per cent which remained steady in January.
Other regions with critical youth unemployment problems include the Coffs Harbour-Grafton region on the NSW north coast (23.3 per cent); Queensland’s Wide Bay region (19.8 per cent); Moreton Bay in Queensland (18.8 per cent) and Bendigo in regional Victoria (18.3 per cent).
Brotherhood of St Laurence executive director Conny Lenneberg told the ABC’s AM program that, with more than 250,000 young Australians out of work, the benefits from 28 years of unbroken economic growth are not being felt by the entire population.
“It’s devastating that people who come out of school, excited about moving into adulthood and finding a way to be independent, face these incredible barriers,” Ms Lenneberg said.
“Increasingly, where you live in Australia defines the opportunities that you have and we really need a different kind of approach to make sure that these young people do not miss out on the prosperity dividend.”
The report titled “Smashing the Avocado Debate” observed that young people are too often depicted in simplistic terms as “consumers of overpriced smashed avocado toast with a fascination for selfies”.
“That’s plain wrong. These stereotypes are very unfair to young people who are trying very hard to get a job,” Ms Lenneberg said.
Smashing the avocado debate – Australia’s youth unemployment hot spots (Brotherhood of St Laurence)