Youth Unemployment in Australia

Patrick Carvalho
22 November 2015 | Research Report 7
Youth Unemployment in Australia

This report looks at quantifying the rising youth unemployment problem, understanding its causes and proposing policy solutions.

Youth employment has progressively taken a hit after the Global Financial Crisis, practically doubling since mid-2008. At an average rate of 13.5% in the past 12 months, the jobless rate among those aged 15–24 has reached worrying levels once thought to be left behind in a distant past. Currently, there are around 300,000 youth unemployed in Australia, accounting for over a third of total unemployment.

There are four main recommendation areas to reverse the rising youth jobless figures. First, Australia must implement structural reforms to lift economic growth to combat the recent surge in youth unemployment (particularly tax reform, reducing barriers to competitive markets and adopting a job-creation oriented workplace relations strategy). Second, Australia needs to deregulate its workplace counterproductive requirements on pay floors, by allowing local discounts on minimum wages and industry-specific award rates to take into account diverse cost of living across Australia, coupled with fixed-period discounts for those who are long term unemployed. Third, Australia needs to combat welfare dependence and deliver effective welfare assistance by adopting an actuarial long-term management of the welfare system. Last, Australia should lift numeracy and reading skills of school-leavers to improve employability as well as investigate innovative ways to increase the accountability of tertiary and VET institutions with respect to job market outcomes.

Buy Hardcopy
Latest Publications

Dying with Their Rights On: The myths and realities of ending homelessness in Australia
Carlos d'Abrera
12 December 2018 | RR38

The orthodox understanding of the causes of homelessness promoted by the ‘homelessness industry’ over emphasises the role of economic and social structures. Solutions based on structuralist explanations – such as increasing the supply of affordable social housing – are insufficient to reduce rough sleeping. Such approaches minimise the need to address assertively, the individual characteristics, choices, and behaviours of rough…

READ MORE
Why childcare is not affordable
Eugenie Joseph
29 August 2018 | RR37

Childcare fees and out-of-pocket costs in Australia have been growing above inflation in recent years, at the same time that more parents are using formalised childcare to support their participation in the workforce. Childcare has been subject to growing and evolving regulation for many years, culminating in the introduction of the National Quality Framework in 2012. However, the quality regulations…

READ MORE
Why We Need NAPLAN
Blaise Joseph
13 May 2018 | RR36

The National Assessment Plan – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is a crucial national assessment, but is coming under increasing criticism. There are three major benefits of NAPLAN: Tool to improve schools and teaching. NAPLAN results enable the identification of problems in the school system over time, and are a means for evaluating potential solutions, from the national level all the…

READ MORE
Risky business: the problems of Indigenous business policy
Charles Jacobs
29 November 2017 | RR35

The Commonwealth’s Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) has put Aboriginal owned small businesses at the heart of a renewed approach to Indigenous economic development. The IPP has irrevocably changed the space, and the Indigenous business sector has grown exponentially since its introduction in 2015. While the policy has achieved its targets, there are some issues with its structure – namely, the…

READ MORE
Life Before Death: Improving Palliative Care for Older Australians
Jessica Borbasi
19 November 2017 | RR34

The notion that the problems associated with modern death and dying can be solved simply by allowing more Australians to die at home is an oversimplification. Moreover, the myth that most people want to die at home, but don’t, has also unhelpfully reinforced the popular fear that grim, distressing, painful and undignified “natural death” in hospital should be avoided at…

READ MORE