• Jobs & Services Australia

‘Unprecedented’ Australian job collapse new data reveals.

Thousands of Aussies are out of work – now new data warns things are about to get much worse. And one group will suffer more than others.





Australia’s job market is in a precarious state. Now a new and terrifying graph is warning us we might be stuck with heavy unemployment for a long time.


In April, the number of job ads did something unprecedented. They fell by more than half.


Every month, ANZ bank counts up the number of job advertisements. It’s a useful way of seeing how the job market will be in a few months’ time – unemployment data is backward-looking but job advertisements tell us something about how many people will be in work in the future.


ANZ had never seen job ads collapse like this. The previous biggest fall in the series was 11.3 per cent in one month, in January 2009, amid the Global Financial Crisis. This is almost five times bigger. April was obviously a time of high uncertainty, and we can expect some bounce-back when lockdowns begin to ease. But job ads certainly won’t come back all at once.


For the growing group of Australians looking for a job this is awful. They are searching for something that isn’t available. The government recently renamed the unemployment payment from Newstart to JobSeeker, and that’s cruelly accurate, because lots of people will be seeking a job without getting a new start.


YOUNG PEOPLE

The lack of jobs hits everybody. But one group will suffer more than average.

“The young are going to be hardest hit by the COVID‐19 downturn,” wrote labour market expert Professor Jeff Borland in a new analysis of the effect of the pandemic.

Recessions usually hit young people. Finishing school and university at a time when jobs aren’t available is bad for their prospects. Instead of getting a full-time job, they might be forced to stick it out in a casual weekend job. And now, of course, a lot of those are unavailable.


“The young account for a disproportionate share of workers in industries being most affected by COVID‐19 shutdowns, such as hospitality and retail trade,” writes Professor Borland.

Because long periods of unemployment are so bad for your lifetime earnings, he recommends the government make it easier and cheaper to stick with education or training instead of going without a job.

“Making that education and training affordable (and not adding to the debt burden young people already face), and implementing large‐scale paid internship and work experience programs, are therefore priorities,” Professor Borland argues.


LONG TERM UNEMPLOYMENT


Long-term unemployment has not been a hot topic in Australia for years. After the 1990 recession it slowly fell away, and even though it has been creeping back up – as the next graph shows – it hasn’t been at the front of mind. That might be about to change.


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OP: News Australia

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