12 May, 2020
Today’s youth will bear the bulk of this economic crisis and challenges Australia will face. Zali Steggall MP calls on the government to look after casuals, youth, women, arts and hospitality sectors, in its plans.
Historically the youth are the most impacted in recessions but this recession will also disproportionately impact women. Employment in the arts, retail and hospitality sectors, hit the hardest by the shutdowns, is dominated by youth and women. As it considers economic recovery plans the government must consider them specifically.
In February the youth unemployment rate in Warringah was already 10.4 per cent, compared to the overall unemployment rate of 2.3 per cent. Since then the largest impact of net job losses for young people under 20 has been almost 10 per cent. Young women across all sectors earned less before this crisis and have been hit hardest now. They're more likely to be ineligible for jobseeker due to the partner income test. Their recovery and career prospects will be made all the harder by cultural barriers and an embedded gender pay gap.
My office has been fielding correspondence from many distressed young people, many on casual contracts, unable to access JobKeeper programs. They're unsure of their next pay cheque, where it's coming from, and they are disillusioned with the support that is available to them. I'm concerned about the lasting mental effect on this youth. To date ReachOut's coronavirus-specific mental health support content has had over 90,000 views. We need to support our youth and this generation as they will face the many problems we have ahead.