Young workers in Victoria are either out of work or need more hours and are still waiting for a targeted Federal jobs plan. They are facing the worst jobs market in 40 years.

The release of today’s ABS job figures show that Victorian 15-24-year-olds who are unemployed has leapt from 14.1% to 16.5% in the space of a month. Victoria’s overall unemployment has risen from 6.9% to 7.5% over the same period.

Victorian young workers who lost their jobs during the first lockdown but recently found work told the Young Workers Centre (YWC) they have been either stood down or unemployed again as a result of the second lockdown.

The Young Worker’s Centre has also heard from 220 young workers who have been locked out of JobKeeper and in some instances also JobSeeker due to the age restrictions in place.

The figures released today from the ABS show that young workers – who are more likely to be casual workers – need targeted support, and certainty as the September deadline for an end to JobKeeper and JobSeeker looms.

It is clear that the impact of Covid-19 on young workers is growing, and that cutting JobKeeper and JobSeeker when workers still need support is premature and devastating.

Today’s figures demonstrate that the Federal Government needs a youth employment plan and to expand JobKeeper and JobSeeker in its scope, to include every young person, and to extend these programs for as long as they are needed.


Quotes attributable to Felicity Sowerbutts, Director of Young Workers Centre:

“Young workers are being disproportionately affected by this pandemic and the hit to our economy. The Morrison Government must give certainty to young workers by providing a clear jobs plan that prioritises young workers.”

“These job figures are bad enough, but don’t yet show the financial impact of the second Melbourne lockdown, which will have an even more intense impact on young workers who are struggling to make ends meet.”


Media contact: Kate Shuttleworth, Victorian Trades Hall Communications Lead, 0447 418 726, kshuttleworth@vthc.org.au

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