ALMOST 20,000 Queenslanders have been on unemployment benefits for longer than five years.

ALMOST 20,000 Queenslanders have been on unemployment benefits for longer than five years.

Data provided by the Employment Department shows many Queenslanders spend longer than one year on income support while searching for a job.

Of the almost 70,000 long-term unemployed across the state, about 17,000 have been on income support for three to five years and almost 20,000 for more than five years.

Employment support groups say the long-term unemployed are not “dole bludgers” but often people who are battling complex emotional and health issues that delay their return to the workforce.



Queensland Council of Social Service chief executive Mark Henley described long-term unemployment as a “demoralising” experience for many. He said the rate of Newstart Allowance ($501 a fortnight for singles) could also push many close to the poverty line.    

“The biggest challenge is the longer-term unemployed, as they don’t have the skills and experience that a lot of employers are looking for,” Mr Henley said.

“People who fall into long-term unemployed also fall into an area of poverty as they are reliant on Newstart and it is not adequate income to support a person to be a constant job seeker.”

“They struggle to have sufficient dollars for transport or education requirements.”

Linda Cebulski, a manager working with the state’s long-term unemployed at Sarina Russo Job Access, said many clients were dealing with long-term issues that became entangled with their unemployment.

“A lot of the barriers our job seekers present are mental health issues – depression, anxiety, trauma,” she said.

“We also see drug and alcohol related issues, females fleeing domestic violence, culturally and linguistically diverse customers and single parents.”

She said clients were assisted to identify their barriers to employment and then provided with training programs, psychological services and apprenticeships services to get them back into the workforce.

unemployment benefits

Across the state, 47,815 Queenslanders have been on Newstart allowance for a short period of time (less than 12 months) – compared to 69,514 long-term clients – little changed in a decade. The Federal Government announced plans this to make work-for-the-dole compulsory and to cut payments for anyone who turns down a job close to home. Read More

long term unemployment logo aprilA national conference focusing on at risk groups for Long-Term Unemployment will be held on 18-19 August 2014, QT Hotel Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

URL:    Ph: (61 7) 5502 2068
Early Bird Registration closes 7th July 2014
Long-Term Unemployment Conference 2014