A new report highlights one of Australia’s greatest economic challenges: convincing employers to take on young people to replace retiring baby boomers.
The latest AMP NATSEM (National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling) report focuses on the labour market and the demographic challenges it faces.
Australia still performs fairly well on overall measures of labour market health – it is in the top third of OECD countries for low unemployment and has almost 53 per cent of the population employed, compared to an average of less than half.
However, Australia’s youth unemployment rate of 27.2 per cent is the highest since the 1990s, up from a low of 16.6 per cent just before the global financial crisis in 2008.
The proportion of young people (15-19) looking for work who cannot find it is now almost 4.5 times the general unemployment rate, only just off record highs.
Young people are almost three times as likely to work part time compared to those aged over 20, with more than three-quarters of those working doing so part time.
While that largely reflects the need to balance work and study for many young people, NATSEM’s Professor Robert Tanton said the high rate of joblessness and part-time work reflects the difficulties young people encounter in the current labour market.
“Young people are facing difficulties gaining employment due to changes in technology, tougher economic conditions and increasing requirements for qualifications, while older people are retiring and taking skills, experience and knowledge with them,” he said.
The report warns that Australia could be left with a shortage of skilled, experienced workers in a range of occupations unless employers start taking on younger staff to replace retiring baby boomers.
However, employment growth has been slow over recent years as many businesses wait to see a durable improvement in economic conditions and consumer confidence before investing in new equipment and staff.
news source & image credits: abc.net.au