Youth Unemployment Continues to Rise
10 November 2014 at 10:19 am
Youth unemployment has risen to its highest level since 2001 and the issue is acting as a “handbrake on the Australian economy”, according to the Federal Labor Opposition.
Shadow Employment and Workplace Relations Minister, Brendan O’Connor, said figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed that the number of 15 to 24-year-olds out of work was sitting at 14 per cent, rising 1.3 per cent since Tony Abbott was elected Prime Minister.
“The scourge of youth unemployment is acting as a handbrake on the Australian economy and Mr Abbott has done nothing to fix it,” O’Connor said.
“Instead of outlining a jobs plan to help young people find work, Mr Abbott’s only idea is to force jobseekers to apply for 40 jobs every month or be cut off from income support.”
O’Connor said youth unemployment should be a top priority at this week’s G20 Summit in Brisbane.
“Youth unemployment is now much more than double Australia’s national unemployment rate of 6.2 per cent,” he said.
“Mr Abbott should raise the youth unemployment crisis as a matter of urgency at the G20 Leaders’ Summit and hope his international counterparts have better ideas than he does.”
But Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz, hinted that part of the problem was that the Opposition would not allow the Government’s legislation to pass through the Senate.
“The Government has a suite of legislation before the Senate that will fuel job creation,” Abetz said.
“For Australians seeking more job opportunities it’s essential this legislation is supported and passed.”
He said that overall the unemployment rate had remained steady at 6.2 per cent.
“We have already finalised two of our three major free trade agreements that will provide export opportunities and jobs growth for Australian businesses,” he said.
“While the increase of 33,400 full time positions is encouraging, the underlying softness in the labour market shows that there is still much more that needs to be done.
“This result underscores the importance for the Senate to pass legislation that will create more job opportunities, in particular for young Australians who are eager to gain employment.”