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A lost generation looming as youth bear brunt of corona crisis

Media Release
Adam Bandt 14 May 2020

The Australian Greens have responded to today's jobs figures showing nearly 4 in 10 young people without a job or enough hours of work, warning that unless the government massively invests to recover from this crisis, already skyrocketing unemployment and underemployment for young people will reach catastrophic levels in the coming months and years. 

Today’s figures reveal an unemployment rate of 6.2%, with 37.3% of young people out of work or not having enough hours of work, even without taking any hidden impact of JobKeeper into account. But these concerning figures obscure the extent of the crisis we face. An additional 490,000 people are currently not in the labour force but are not being counted in our unemployment figures. 

“Young people are getting smashed and the government has no plan to look after them,” said Greens Leader Adam Bandt. 

“Young people are carrying much of the burden of the current crisis and they may be locked out of meaningful work for years.”

“With nearly 4 in 10 young people without a job or enough work, we face a lost generation of young people. To give young people hope, the government must borrow more to invest in nation-building projects.”

“The government must guarantee young people a decent job and a living income, but at the moment the Liberals are using young people as cannon fodder.

“This country faces a choice. Labor and the Liberals can keep pushing their austerity agenda and jeopardise the future of young people, or we can invest our way out of this crisis and create a fairer and more sustainable future.” 

“Young people have been some of the hardest impacted by COVID-19; this rise in unemployment has come at a time when we were already struggling with workforce casualisation, stagnant wages, unaffordable housing and rising living costs,” said Greens spokesperson for youth, Senator Jordon Steele-John. 

“The services we need like healthcare and mental health services aren’t funded properly, causing us to fall through the cracks, and the reality is that our futures will be severely impacted by the climate crisis.”

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