Anglicare Australia’s Jobs Availability Snapshot aims to show what the job market is like for people who might struggle to find a job. These might be people with disabilities, people who didn’t finish year 12, or older workers who lost their jobs later in life.
In the sample month of May 2019, findings demonstrated that:
- One in seven jobseekers has barriers to work (for example, older workers who lost their jobs later in life, people with disabilities, young people who haven't finished year 12)
- They spend an average of five years looking for work
- Across Australia, at least five of these jobseekers are competing for each job at their skill level
- These jobs are drying up. They made up just 10% of vacancies this year, down from 22% that were available when records began in 2006.
- On top of that, 1.16 million people are underemployed.
- An immediate increase in the rate of Newstart and Youth Allowance. People seeking work should not be trapped in poverty. An independent commission should set and index these payments to ensure they meet the growing costs of living.
- Wider access to the Disability Support Pension and Disability Employment Services. Tens of thousands of people with disability are stranded on Newstart. This is forcing them to look for jobs without proper support. Restoring access to the Disability Support Pension, and giving automatic access to specialist Disability Employment Services, would help them look for work.
- Urgent reform of the Jobactive Network. That means an end to punitive approaches, and investing in tailored, person-centred support.
- Direct job creation programs that match the skills of those looking for work. These programs should also respond to need in the community.