Youth Unemployment in Australia Highlights Challenges Ahead

The most recent unemployment figures have revealed a problem with youth unemployment that has for the most part been hidden by the traditional “youth unemployment” rate.

The June labour force figures released by the ABS last week showed that the unemployment rate for 15-24 year olds (the standard definition of youth unemployment) was 11.7% (in trend terms), slightly below where it was this time last year. For 15-19 year olds it is 15.6% – more than one percentage point lower than the 16.7% of June 2012.

So the rate is coming down. Cigars all round?

Alas no.

Last week we noted that the unemployment rate hides important details; this is magnified when it comes to youth unemployment. What has been noticeable of late is the unemployment rate of those looking for full-time work has surged, while the overall rate has stayed flat or declined.

There is now a bigger gap between the two rates than at any time in the past 20 years:

And yet despite this there is actually a smaller percentage of youth looking for full-time work than there was during the height of the global financial crisis.

So what is going on?

There are two issues: participation and jobs.

via The Guardian

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency
trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza