Wide Bay youth jobless rate second worst in Qld
THE Wide Bay has again been singled out as a youth unemployment hotspot, with its rate of 19.8 per cent making it the second worst region in Queensland and the third worst in Australia.
Data released by the anti-poverty group Brotherhood of St Laurence this week revealed the Wide Bay youth jobless rate is 7 percentage points higher than the state rate of 12.8, and 8.6 points above Australia's 11.2 per cent.
The Queensland Outback (including Cape York, Weipa, Mout Isa and Longreach) at 25.7 per cent and the Coffs Harbour-Grafton region's 23.3 per cent were the only Australian regions with worse figures.
Moreton Bay north (18.8 per cent), Townsville (17.3), Moreton Bay south (16.1) and the Sunshine Coast rounded out Queensland's top six.
All placed within Australia's top 20 worst spots for youth unemployment.
Brotherhood executive director Conny Lenneberg challenged policy makers to give young people a fair shake ahead of the upcoming Federal election.
"Young people come out of education and training with high hopes and aspirations for independence.
"It's devastating that despite 28 years of continuous economic growth, too many young Australians are locked out of the prosperity dividend,” she said.
Ms Lenneberg said the latest "hotspot” revelation smashed stereotypes about young people and called for a more sophisticated public debate about the emerging generation's challenges.
"These figures belie stereotypes about young people.
"We know from our research and the experience of our services that many young people are doing it tough,” she said.
"Yet young people are too often depicted in simplistic terms of consumers of overpriced smashed-avocado toast with a fascination for selfies, and that's plain wrong.
"To secure the future labour force and create opportunities for decent work, we need structural solutions that drill down to local job markets and infrastructure challenges.”
The figures come after a Federal Government report revealed the region's job hopefuls should look to health care and social assistance, accommodation and food services or retail trade as the best chance of success.
These industries were expected to have the largest growth until 2022.
At the opposite end of the scale, those looking at electricity, gas, water and waste services or mining may be left out in the cold.
Jobs in these industries were expected to drop by 6-12 per cent in that time.
All up there is expected to be 4250 more jobs generated in the region between 2017-2022.