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May 14, 2020

Today’s April labour force figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show young Australians are bearing the brunt of the unemployment crisis.

13.8 per cent of our young people are now without work, which is more than double the national average of 6.2 per cent. There are now 283,500 unemployed young Australians.  

Young people are being hit hard by this crisis, with many previously employed in casual, insecure and gig work, and in hard hit industries such as hospitality.

Last week’s ABS figures revealed that one third of accommodation and food services jobs have been lost during this crisis, and those worked by people aged 20 to 29 decreased the most.

Young Australians are carrying an incredibly heavy load through this crisis, and Labor is deeply concerned about the potential devastating impact on our young population.

Overwhelming unemployment, social isolation and missing significant life events are all taking a financial and mental toll on young Australians.

The Government must have our young people at the forefront of their thinking and take all necessary steps to support them during and after this crisis.

One thing the Treasurer could do right now is better target the JobKeeper program, to ensure those young people who were employed casually on a short term basis are able to access financial support and maintain a connection to their workplace.

Labor will continue to work constructively with the Government to ensure young Australians are supported.