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4725.0 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth, Apr 2011  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/05/2012  Reissue
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Contents >> Paid Work >> Young people not in employment


PAID WORK: YOUNG PEOPLE NOT IN EMPLOYMENT

This article is part of a comprehensive series released as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth.


Note: In this section, the terms 'youth' and 'young people' refer to people aged 15–24 years. Data presented are from the ABS National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008 and 2002 (cat. no. 4714.0).

KEY MESSAGES

Of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in 2008:
  • 15% were unemployed (a decrease from 22% in 2002), with a higher rate in non-remote than remote areas (17% compared with 10%)
  • 19% of those who were unemployed were long-term unemployed (52 weeks or more)
  • 39% were not in the labour force.

UNEMPLOYMENT AND DIFFICULTY IN FINDING WORK

In 2008, around 16,100 (15%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people were unemployed (a decrease from 22% in 2002). Young people in non-remote areas were more likely than those in remote areas to be unemployed (17% compared with 10%). This pattern was evident for both males and females. In comparison, 8% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25–64 years were unemployed with no significant difference between the proportions for non-remote and remote areas.

2.1 PROPORTION OF YOUTH UNEMPLOYED BY SEX AND REMOTENESS, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth aged 15–24 years—2008
Graph:Proportion of Youth Unemployed by Sex and Remoteness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15–24 years—2008
(a) Difference between non-remote and remote is statistically significant.
Source: 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey
In 2008, the youth unemployment rate (that is, the proportion of people in the labour force who were unemployed) fell to 25% (from 36% in 2002). The youth unemployment rate was higher in non-remote areas than in remote areas (27% compared with 20%). In comparison, the unemployment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25–64 years was 13%, with no significant difference in rates between non-remote and remote areas.

Among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were unemployed, 19% reported transport problems as their main difficulty in finding work. A further 19% reported that insufficient education, training or skills was their main difficulty in finding work. A lack of jobs in the local area or their line of work were reported as the main barrier to employment by 13% of unemployed young people.

2.2 SELECTED DIFFICULTIES IN FINDING WORK, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander unemployed youth aged 15–24 years—2008
Graph:Selected Difficulties in Finding Work, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15–24 years—2008
Source: 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey

Just over two-thirds (67%) of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were unemployed had used employment support services in the last 12 months, with no significant difference between rates of use in non-remote and remote areas. Young unemployed males were more likely than their female counterparts to have used employment support services (73% compared with 58%).

In 2008, one in five (19%) unemployed young people were long-term unemployed (that is, they had been unemployed for 52 weeks or more).
NOT PARTICIPATING IN THE LABOUR FORCE

In 2008, 39% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people were not in the labour force (that is, they were neither employed nor unemployed). A higher proportion of young females than males were not participating in the labour force (49% compared with 29%). Young people in remote areas were more likely than those in non-remote areas to be not participating in the labour force (50% compared with 36%) which may partly reflect relatively fewer employment opportunities in remote areas.

Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15–19 years were more likely than those aged 20–24 years to be not participating in the labour force (43% compared with 34%) and were more likely to be studying (69% compared with 12%).

Young females not participating in the labour force were less likely than young males to be participating in formal education (39% compared with 63%). Almost half (49%) of young females who were not in the labour force were parents or guardians.

Young people not participating in the labour force were less likely to have completed Year 12 or a higher qualification than those who were in the labour force (16% compared with 39%). Four in ten (41%) young people who were not in the labour force were neither studying nor had completed Year 12 or a higher qualification. This was more common in remote areas than in non-remote areas (53% compared with 36%).



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