Long-Term Unemployment Growing

Pro Bono Australia

An analysis of Centrelink data by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) found that 70% of people on unemployment benefits have been without a job for more than a year, and that of those people those on Newstart or Youth Allowance, 597,096 are long term recipients out of a total of 853,662.

The data shows that there has been an increase of people on unemployment benefits of 38,213 from August 2014 to August 2015  –  a jump of 6.8 per cent.

“We are extremely concerned that more people are out of paid work for longer. There are now almost 600,000 people who’ve been out of work for more than a year, which is 70 per cent of the total number receiving Newstart and Youth Allowance,” ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said.

“These worsening figures highlight the need for the Federal Government to ensure that increasing employment is an immediate strategic priority, including increasing the participation of people unemployed long term. Clearly there are fewer jobs available now, with just one job for every five people looking for paid work.”

“Work for the Dole programs are not effective in improving people’s job prospects because the work is usually far removed from standard workplaces – and to the extent that people are expected to undertake ‘normal’ work, they should be paid properly.

“The money being invested in this scheme would be better spent ensuring the new Jobactive employment service providers are able to invest in wage subsidies in regular jobs, vocational training, and other supports for people who are unemployed long term.”

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