A NEW snapshot has mapped unemployment "hotspots" for those aged 15 to 24 in Queensland - with the state having some of the worst performing regions in the nation.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics data analysed by anti-poverty organisation the Brotherhood of St Laurence for its Australia's Youth Unemployment Hotspots: Snapshot showed that youth unemployment in Queensland hit 13.2% in the year to January.
Some regions fared much worse. They include:
- 28.4% in the Outback Queensland region, including Cape York, Aurukun, Weipa, Mount Isa, Longreach, Charleville
- 20.6% in the Wide Bay region of Queensland, including Bundaberg, Gympie, Hervey Bay, Maryborough
- 20.5% in the Cairns region of Queensland, also including Innisfail and Port Douglas
- 17.6% in the Townsville region of Queensland, including Charters Towers, Ingham, Ayr
- 16% in the Mackay region of Queensland, including Bowen, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Proserpine
Young people continue to be at higher risk of unemployment than other age groups.
The state's 13.2% unemployment rate for 15-24 year olds is more than twice the overall unemployment rate in Queensland of 6.1%.
The national youth unemployment rate is 12.2%, down from a high of almost 14% in December 2014, but still well up on the level before the global financial crisis in 2008, when it dipped below 9%.
"As a nation, we owe our young people a much better deal. The recent improvement in the youth unemployment rate masks the reality that it is still more than the rate before the GFC. Rural and regional areas are doing it particularly tough," Brotherhood Executive Director Tony Nicholson said.
"It's deeply concerning that some 258,000 young people in the labour market across the nation are unable to find work. In 'hot spots' the job search is much harder for them.
"Digging into the data, we finds 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."
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