Long-term youth jobless rate triples

Are you aged between 15 and 24 and been looking for work for over a year? Contact us: 4221 2207 or cos@illawarramercury.com.au.

The number of young people facing long-term unemployment has tripled since the global financial crisis, according to a new analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

There are currently 257,000 unemployed young people (aged 15 to 24) across the nation, and more than 50,000 have been unemployed for longer than a year.

In NSW, there are 74,000 unemployed young people, and 14,200 of those have not worked in 12 months, according to a report by the Brotherhood of St Laurence, to be released on Monday.

The average duration of unemployment has risen sharply. In 2008, young people spent an average of 16 weeks looking for work, but by this year, that period had risen to 29 weeks.

The report - titled On the Treadmill: Young and Long-term Unemployed in Australia - noted that the youth unemployment rate at 12.5 per cent is more than double the overall national jobless rate of 6 per cent.

Brotherhood of St Laurence executive director Tony Nicholson said the globalised economy is ''coming down really hard on young people'', especially those without work experience or tertiary education.

''Australia needs a new approach to assist unemployed youth to build their qualifications, skills and experience to obtain a job in the modern economy,'' Mr Nicholson said.

Fiona Ireland, 27, from Turramurra, said she had been ''applying like crazy'' for jobs in the marketing industry, but entry-level roles or positions not requiring vast amounts of experience were few and far between.

''They all want five to seven years experience, they all want stuff on the resume, they all want examples of work done, and it can be really hard when you're only a couple of years out of uni,'' she said.

Ms Ireland recently became unemployed after a long period of sickness. The boutique marketing company she was working for was unable to hold her job for her because of a downturn in the market.

Ms Ireland studied business and majored in marketing and law, graduating from the University of Technology, Sydney, in 2010.

She was awarded a highly competitive internship at Deloitte after she graduated but marketing interns were not offered permanent positions afterwards.

''I'm on many firms' websites, I'm on all the job sites and there just isn't a huge amount of marketing work at the moment,'' she said.

''I'm only a couple of weeks in, but I'd be lying if I said I'm not a bit worried.''

Mr Nicholson warned that the growing number of people who are ''locked out'' of stable employment could have dire consequences.

Data from the longitudinal Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey suggests that experiencing unemployment while young can be associated with many problems such as poor health.

''A long period of unemployment in your youth dramatically increases the chances of being unemployed in your adult working years,'' he said.

''The catch-22 for our young people is that the longer they're out of work, the harder it is to find a job.''

Are you aged between 15 and 24 and been looking for work for over a year? Contact us: 4221 2207 or cos@illawarramercury.com.au.

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