Tassie jobless rate worry
Unemployed youth in nation’s top five
FIGURES released last week show the Derwent Valley and Central Highlands are ranked in the top five for youth unemployment in Australia.
The figures released by the anti-poverty organisation Brotherhood of St Laurence show both municipalities rank alongside Bruny Island in the South-East region of Tasmania as the fifth highest per cent of unemployment for those aged between 15 to 24. At 19.6 per cent, this is well above the national youth unemploy- ment rate of 12 per cent.
South-East Tasmania ranks only behind Outback Queensland (28.4 per cent), the Hunter Valley in NSW (21.8 per cent), the Wide Bay region in Queensland (20.6 per cent) and Cairns (20.5 per cent).
South-East Tasmania was ranked as the highest rate of youth unemployment in the state, with Launceston and the North-East (16.9 per cent) the only other Tasmanian area to make the national top 20.
The figures released by the Brotherhood analysed data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for youth unemployment over the year to January 2016.
The report also said that young people continue to be at a higher risk of unemployment than other age groups, with the national rate of 12.2 per cent for 15-24 year olds more than double the rate for adults over 25 (4.6 per cent).
Derwent Valley Mayor Martyn Evans said the figures were a big concern for the area.
“It’s not a good thing for the region,” he said.
“You want to give our young people opportunities. Creating education provisions are fantastic, but you need the opportunities for employment in your local region or within commuting distance through public transport.
Councillor Evans said he would be discussing the figures with his councillors as well as raising the issue with the State Government.
“You look at the East-Coast that just had a stimulus in tourism to create employment and increase the tourism sector.
“I think governments need to work in partnership with local government on areas that do need the injection of infrastructure.”
Brotherhood Executive Director Tony Nicholson said young people in Australia deserved a better deal when it came to employment.
“It’s deeply concerning that some 258,000 young people in the labour market are unable to find work,” he said.
“We find some regions bearing a much heavier burden than others. Our globalised economy makes it hard for young people to find entry level jobs, and this puts them at risk of being locked out of stable employment long term.
“This generational issue needs sustained attention on all fronts: schools, vocational training and universities as well as welfare assistance and employment programs.”