For Nisha, it’s hard work to get full-time work
ROCKHAMPTON'S Nisha Elizabeth isn't asking for much; just the opportunity to work.
The 19-year-old has been struggling to find a full-time position in Rockhampton for months, and has applied for a least 30 positions to no avail.
She said she had not received a single interview despite her efforts.
In her desperation, Nisha this week posted a message on popular Facebook message board Rockhampton Classifieds inquiring about potential employment.
Despite her preference for office or reception work, Nisha said she would take anything she could get.
"I have had no luck and like my mum said, I can't be picky," she said.
She said she was stuck in a vicious cycle of needing experience to work, but lacking experience because no one would give her work.
Nisha is currently employed casually in retail, but said the hours wouldn't be enough to pay her bills once she moves out of home.
Even walking store to store in Stockland Rockhampton in search of a second job left Nisha empty handed.
"I went around today to pick up a second job if I could, but everyone was getting or already have their Christmas casuals... it is pretty tough," she said.
"I am not the only person. I didn't realise how many other people were struggling to get jobs."
And like Nisha said, she certainly isn't alone.
September data on youth unemployment suggests the job market is particularly rough on Australia's youth as more than 256,000 Australians aged 15 to 24 are categorised as unemployed.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics report from last month said the unemployment rate was sitting at 12.4%; almost double the general rate.
But Professor Paula McDonald from Queensland University of Technology says it pays to be wary of the numbers.
"A fair proportion of the stats are accounted for by full-time students who are seeking part-time work," she said.
"Youth unemployment is not as high as what the overall statistics suggest.
"Having said that, a great problem with youth unemployment is under-employment, where young people are seeking full-time and preferably stable, permanent, secure, meaningful employment and the jobs are just not out there."
Prof McDonald said the rhetoric surrounding the youth unemployment issue all too often turned the blame on the nation's youth, rather than a failing labour market.