Being left behind
The youth long-term unemployment rate has tripled since the GFC and now sits at 2.3 per cent, well above the second-highest rate of 1.4 per cent for 55–64 year olds. Australia is likely to see long-term unemployment rise significantly as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) says during periods of longer unemployment, people’s skills and productivity deteriorate and they become seen as being less employable, reducing the probability they will be hired in the future.
For young people, this means they miss out on building skills and experience during the crucial early stages of their careers. Research published in The Economist shows “workers who start looking for a job during a recession earn significantly less than their timelier counterparts”.
Along with the impacts on employment, income and wealth, there can be other long-lasting social effects, including reduced life expectancy and a higher likelihood of relationship breakdowns.