Nicholas Falconer

Global Financial Crisis still hitting employment for young

WAVES from the Global Financial Crisis first struck Australian shores in 2008, but young people are still reeling from its impact as full-time work - even after earning a bachelor's degree - remains a struggle.

As of January, the unemployment rate for young people aged between 15 and 24 was more than twice that of other Australians at 12.3%.

Prior to the GFC in January 2008, youth unemployment was closer to 9%.

The data has been pulled together by the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency, an independent research arm of government in its Labour Force Participation report released earlier this week.

It comes as the Federal Government continues to sell its unpopular budget measures, including major cuts to Centrelink payments for the young and unemployed.

The AWPA found regional Queensland towns including Caboolture, Bundaberg and Gympie had the country's highest youth unemployment rates - between 17.6% and 18.1%.

For comparison, the Northern Territory outback has a youth unemployment rate of 18.5%.

All were listed among the top ten Australian regions for youth jobless rates.

New South Wales fared somewhat better with no regions among the top 10.

Parramatta had the state's highest youth unemployment rate at 16.8%.

The AWPA also found more than 10% of bachelor degree graduates could not find any job within four months of earning their degree.

A further 18.1% were stuck in casual or part-time work.

That meant almost 30% of graduates were left with no full-time work for at least four months after graduation.

The government plans to stop paying jobless Australians under 30 until they have been unemployed for six months from next year.

This may be shortened, with every year of work earning one less month of waiting.

Opposition employment spokesman Brendan O'Connor said the cuts could risk a new generation of Australians "stuck in a vicious poverty cycle".

He said an unemployed 24-year-old would lose about $2500 per year.

Assistant Employment Minister Luke Hartsuyker said the government wanted to see more young people in work, rather than "lanquishing" on the welfare.

"It is important that young people are taking up work ahead of welfare, even if it is not the job on offer is not their ideal job in the longer term," he said.

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