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Brotherhood of St Laurence

Revealed: Victoria's youth unemployment hotspots in 2018

Revealed: Victoria’s youth unemployment hotspots in 2018

Report finds ‘tale of two Australias’ for nation’s young job hunters

Monday March 26, 2018

A new report maps unemployment “hotspots” for young people in Victoria to find some regions above 15 per cent.

The five regions in the state with the highest youth unemployment rates are:

  • ·        18.7 per cent in the Melbourne-West region, including Sunshine, St Albans, Footscray, Melton
  • ·       17.5 per cent in the Melbourne-North West region, including Keilor, Sunbury, Broadmeadows, Craigieburn
  • ·       16.2 per cent in the Bendigo region, also including Castlemaine, Woodend, Kyneton, Heathcote
  • ·       16.1 per cent in the Shepparton region, also including Cobram, Yarrawonga, Numurkah, Echuca
  • ·       15.1 per cent in the Melbourne-South East region, including Pakenham, Berwick, Dandenong, Springvale, Oakleigh

Anti-poverty organisation the Brotherhood of St Laurence analysed Australian Bureau of Statistics data for its report titled ‘An unfair Australia? Mapping youth unemployment hotspots’ to also show that the unemployment rate for people aged 15 to 24 in the labour force in Victoria was 13.1 per cent (12 month average to January).

“The story of youth employment in our prosperous country has become a tale of two Australias,” warns the report.

It also finds one third of all unemployed people in Australia are aged 15 to 24. Furthermore, 55 of the total of 87 regions across the country are burdened by youth unemployment rates above 11 per cent. This stands in contrast to the overall national unemployment rate of 5.5 per cent, which includes all age groups.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Executive Director, Conny Lenneberg, said the new report exposed how location was shaping opportunities for young Australians.

“In our prosperous country it’s very worrying when we have more than a quarter of a million young people in the labour force who are unemployed. Youth unemployment hotspots in outer suburbs and rural areas are carrying the heaviest burden,” she said.

“The modern economy is creating new risks for Australia’s emerging generation. Disadvantaged young people in particular are facing barriers in their effort to secure work. To meet this challenge, we need action from governments as well tapping into effort of employers in local communities.

“Stubborn rates of youth unemployment are not just a concern for families or the welfare sector.”

The Brotherhood report also maps the 20 hotspots that have the highest youth unemployment rates in Australia, including in Victoria. In these regions higher-than-average youth unemployment rates have stubbornly persisted over time. In 19 of the 20 current hotspots youth unemployment rates had worsened from two years ago, the report finds.

The national youth unemployment rate remains more than 12 per cent.

Laurie Oakes joins the Brotherhood’s campaign for youth employment

In a guest column written for the Brotherhood’s Youth Unemployment Monitor out today, leading journalist Laurie Oakes said that the national youth unemployment rate was more than double the overall rate “should be a matter of enormous concern”.

More weight should also be given to the future wellbeing of young Australians in all debates about spending on their elders, he argues.

“Things are already much tougher for the emerging generation – the generation that includes my grandchildren – even at the basic level of finding a productive place within society.”

Read the report ‘An unfair Australia? Mapping youth unemployment hotspots’:

Read Laurie Oakes’ column:

Media inquiries: Jeannie Zakharov on 0428 391 117 and Sharon Lee on 0499 300 982