Take Survey
NEWS  |  Careers, General, Research

Unemployment Down, Aussie Dollar Up

Monday, 20th April 2015 at 11:42 am
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist
Australia’s unemployment rate has unexpectedly fallen to 6.1 per cent, with the dollar receiving a boost on the back of the jobs news.

Monday, 20th April 2015
at 11:42 am
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist



Unemployment Down, Aussie Dollar Up
Monday, 20th April 2015 at 11:42 am

Australia’s unemployment rate has unexpectedly fallen to 6.1 per cent, with the dollar receiving a boost on the back of the jobs news.

The latest figures from The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that 37,700 people found work in March this year, bringing the total number of employed people to 11.7 million.

The ABS also estimated that 31,500 of those jobs were full-time and 6,100 were part-time.

Treasurer Joe Hockey shared his relief upon seeing the figures via Twitter. He said that the figures were welcome news.

The Australian dollar jumped more than half a US cent to 77.77c after the figures were released.

But Honorary Professor at the Industrial Relations Research Centre at UNSW Australia Business School, Raja Junankar, wrote in The Conversation that youth unemployment was still a pressing concern.

Junankar said that in February this year youth unemployment hit 13.9 per cent, its highest level since 1998.

He argued that a rise in minimum wages would not increase unemployment and restricting unemployment benefits to young people would not drive it down.

Business lobbies, and some politicians argue youth unemployment is high and rising because of high wages,” Junankar said.

“But as I argue in my forthcoming paper in Economic and Labour Relations Review, if we look at the evidence we see that youth unemployment rates have been rising even though youth wages have been falling relative to adult wages.

“Young people aged 15-19 have consistently had very high unemployment rates, compared to 20-24 year-olds, and compared to adults (25-64 year olds). The figure suggests that whatever is driving adult unemployment is also driving youth unemployment. The main factor driving the growth of adult unemployment (especially since the GFC) has been a slowdown in the growth of aggregate demand. This has led to a growth of both adult and youth unemployment.

“Youth unemployment is more sensitive to the business cycle since a high proportion of young people work in part time and casual work and in industries like manufacturing, construction, and retail trades that are most affected by a fall in aggregate demand.

“Almost a quarter of youth unemployed have been so for one year or longer. Considering they have only been in the labour force for a very short period that is a very high proportion.”

Junankar said it was a common misconception that an increasing minimum wage was a driving force behind unemployment.

“Another often quoted argument for the high and increasing youth unemployment rates is that overall minimum wages in the community are too high,” he said.

“But… real minimum wages have been almost constant for the past decade. Yet unemployment rates have been rising.

“The proposed policy of the Abbott government to restrict unemployment benefits to young people (under 30 years of age) for the first six months of unemployment would have serious consequences for the young. There is no evidence to support the view that youth unemployment is caused by high wages or by high unemployment benefits.”

Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

Get more stories like this


Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Welfare Program Dismisses Complexities of Single Motherhood

Maggie Coggan

Tuesday, 30th October 2018 at 4:35 pm

Jobseekers Dissatisfied With Government Employment Program

Luke Michael

Thursday, 4th October 2018 at 8:42 am

NSW Invests $10 Million in Youth Unemployment Program

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 2nd October 2018 at 5:07 pm

Deliveroo Brings Jobs to DSS-Funded Work Program

Paul Carter

Monday, 2nd July 2018 at 10:46 am


White Ribbon CEO Puts Hasty Departure Down to Culture Clash

Maggie Coggan

Monday, 12th November 2018 at 5:49 pm

Government Backtracks on Cuts to Food Relief Charity

Maggie Coggan

Monday, 12th November 2018 at 5:42 pm

Disability Groups Cautious Over NDIS Independent Assessment Pilot

Luke Michael

Monday, 12th November 2018 at 5:38 pm

Live Crowdfunding Raises Half a Million to Increase Social Impact

Maggie Coggan

Tuesday, 13th November 2018 at 8:38 am

Take Survey
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!