Analysis by free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ July Labour Force figures has found that young Australians have disproportionately suffered as a result of the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 lockdown measures.
- Young Australians aged 15 to 24 account for 35% of the net job losses since March despite making up just 15% of the workforce.
- 416,600 Australians aged 15 to 24 years were not in work or full-time education in July. This is equivalent to 13% of the 15 to 24-year-old population. This is up from 10.4% in March, but down from a peak of 14.6% in May.
- The IPA’s estimate of the real unemployment rate is 10.3%. This estimate includes those who meet the official definition of unemployment which is those who are out of work but are actively seeking and available to work, plus those who have on net left the labour force since March, plus those who are employed but are working zero hours for economic reasons. This is down from 11.7% last month due to a decline in the number of employed working zero hours and an increase in labour force participation.
- The IPA’s estimate of the real unemployment rate for Victoria is 13.1%.
- If Victoria’s real unemployment rate was in line with the rest of the country, 97,000 Victorians who are out of work would still be in a job.
- There are 1.4 million Australians who are either unemployed, employed but working zero hours for economic reasons, or have on net left the labour force since March. This is approximately the same number of net jobs created in the six years leading up to the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown measures in March.
Comments attributable to Kurt Wallace, Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs
“The loss of the dignity of work for thousands of young Australians is truly a human tragedy. The ramifications will be felt by many young Australians for years to come.”
“Work is central to the Australian way of life. It provides dignity and allows for home ownership, independence, and self-sustaining families and communities.”
“Lockdown measures must be eased where it is safe to do so and governments must slash red and green tape, cut taxes, and engage in serious industrial relations reform to get Australians back into work.”
Note: This analysis is based on 6202.0 – Labour Force, Australia, July 2020, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.