COVID-19 and the impact on young people

Disturbing figures are emerging from the early studies into the impact of COVID-19 on the employment prospects of young workers.

The Productivity Commission has released a report which found that many young people will suffer long-term effects of this pandemic, employment-wise. Their chances of aspiring to higher-paid, higher-skilled jobs will not eventuate. Many will be trapped for some years in occupations which will be lower on the jobs ladder and lower salaries than they could have been expected to receive prior to the pandemic.

So while older members of the community are at risk of losing their lives in this COVID-19 environment, young people are at risk of unemployment, casual employment, short-term contracts or at best jobs without security of permanent employment, perhaps for at least ten years post-COVID-19.

In June, the jobless rate for those aged between 20-24 soared to 13.9 percent, with almost 150,000 jobs disappearing since the start of the year. Among the next bracket, the 25 to 34 age group, unemployment climbed by almost 7.5 percent, with 164,000 jobs disappearing. In the 35-44 age group the fall was less severe, falling only 1.4 percent and leaving 64,000 without a job.

During the last decade young people have mostly held part-time positions, and certainly this has occurred post the GFC in 2008. It took until 2017 for an improvement in the prospects of a young person becoming permanent, and even then, the likelihood was slim.

The chance of better career prospects for young people was only beginning to improve when COVID-19 struck. This has set back the prospects of improving their employment prospects very unlikely in the future, possibly for at least a decade.

This is a very depressing picture for young people looking to improve their lives and their job prospects during the next few years.

One can only hope the economic recovery is strong and rapid, if it is to lift up the aspirations of young people, but that is all in the lap of the Gods at present.

This article has been prepared by WR Law for information purposes only and is not legal advice. Please contact WR Law directly for legal advice regarding your specific circumstances.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

Ref: Shane Wright – The Age

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