Close Search
News  |  Careers

Long-Term Unemployment Growing

28 September 2015 at 12:53 pm
Xavier Smerdon
Seventy per cent of people on unemployment benefits have been without a job for more than a year, according to Australia’s peak welfare body.

Xavier Smerdon | 28 September 2015 at 12:53 pm


Long-Term Unemployment Growing
28 September 2015 at 12:53 pm

Seventy per cent of people on unemployment benefits have been without a job for more than a year, according to Australia’s peak welfare body.

An analysis of Centrelink data by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) found that of those people on those on Newstart or Youth Allowance, 597,096 are long term recipients out of a total of 853,662.

The data shows that there has been an increase of people on unemployment benefits of 38,213 from August 2014 to August 2015  –  a jump of 6.8 per cent.

“We are extremely concerned that more people are out of paid work for longer. There are now almost 600,000 people who’ve been out of work for more than a year, which is 70 per cent of the total number receiving Newstart and Youth Allowance,” ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said.

“These worsening figures highlight the need for the Federal Government to ensure that increasing employment is an immediate strategic priority, including increasing the participation of people unemployed long term. Clearly there are fewer jobs available now, with just one job for every five people looking for paid work.”

Goldie said the current unemployment rate was a structural problem to do with a slowing economy in transition.

“This is not the time to punish people who find themselves unable to secure paid work, for example through the current proposal to introduce a four week waiting period for people to access basic income support,” she said.

“Instead, we need a national economic growth and employment plan that provides pathways for the people being left behind during this transition. In developing such a plan, we need to move beyond ideology and look at the evidence of what works to get people back to work.

“Work for the Dole programs are not effective in improving people’s job prospects because the work is usually far removed from standard workplaces – and to the extent that people are expected to undertake ‘normal’ work, they should be paid properly.

“The money being invested in this scheme would be better spent ensuring the new Jobactive employment service providers are able to invest in wage subsidies in regular jobs, vocational training, and other supports for people who are unemployed long term.”

Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

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

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

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 or download our contributor guidelines.
Most Viewed


Webinar Value Packs

Get more stories like this


Your email address will not be published.


A tale of two polls: So what is the real difference?

Maggie Coggan

Thursday, 12th November 2020 at 8:37 am

Meet Pro Bono News’ first editorial advisory board

Wendy Williams

Thursday, 16th April 2020 at 8:02 am

Unpaid Carers Facing Significant Economic Disadvantage

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 21st August 2018 at 3:45 pm

NFPs Driving WA Economy, Report Says

Wendy Williams

Wednesday, 15th February 2017 at 4:20 pm

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook