ACOSS and Jobs Australia Ltd. have partnered to produce this second edition of Faces of Unemployment. The shared purpose in producing these reports is to delve below the official unemployment rate to explore the profile of those people locked out of paid work, the barriers they face and the enablers to support them into employment.
This edition was prepared before the COVID19 pandemic challenge that Australia and the world now face. It analyses unemployment in Australia in late 2019, including how many people were unemployed, the challenges they experienced in finding paid work, trends in employment and unemployment, and which groups in society were most affected by unemployment.
The current COVID19 crisis means that Australia is likely to experience a period of high unemployment. This report shows that reform of employment services, commitment from employers to do the best for current and prospective employees, and a higher unemployment payment will all play vital roles in keeping the unemployment rate as low as possible.
The report examines three main reasons for entrenched unemployment:
- As unemployment declined, and access to pension payments was closed off, the profile of people who are still out of paid work became more disadvantaged.
- The labour market has changed so that entry-level jobs are either harder to get, offer too few paid hours, or are harder to keep.
- Australia under-invests in employment services, putting social security compliance ahead of positive help to secure employment.