Youth Unemployment Monitor

A key part of our campaign is the Monitor, an enewsletter which is a useful source of information and policy analysis. But it's not all facts and figures. We present the human stories of youth unemployment and the challenges young people face today.

Subscribe to the Youth Unemployment Monitor to receive new editions as an e-newsletter.

Latest monitor

A smiling young woman

Banok Rind, an emerging Aboriginal leader, draws on her experience to conclude that success for Indigenous young people is not always a clear path.

Read more of Banok’s story

A hand holding a red pen marking work days on a calendar

In 2018, young Australians are far more likely to work part-time than 40 years ago. Our report unpacks the latest data about the increasing number of youth who have part-time work and want more hours.

Read the report (PDF, 366 KB)

A young man in facing the camera, in a swimming pool, holding himself up against the side

For Quaylin, working 30 hours a week on a casual basis as a swimming instructor falls way short of the full-time work he needs to build a secure future.

Watch the video.

Previous monitors

March 2018

Profile image of Laurie Oakes

Leading journalist Laurie Oakes argues that more weight should be given to the future wellbeing of young Australians in all debates about spending on their elders.

"Since retiring last year, I have thought often about how fortune smiled on my generation."

Map of Australia showing hotspots with the the highest youth unemployment rates in Australia

Our new data report maps youth unemployment trends, zeroing in on 20 'hotspots' that have the highest youth unemployment rates in Australia, and we do a state by state analysis. 

Two young men

Meet James and Nick, now 27. They are two participants in a unique study that  began tracking the lives of more than 150 babies, all born in inner Melbourne in 1990. Do family and finances shape life chances?

Watch the video.

December 2017

Sam Mostyn standing in front of green plants

The chair of Citigroup Australia, Sam Mostyn, offers a business - and parental - perspective on youth unemployment.

"We've got to become more intelligent about the public narrative we have developed about young people."

Read more of Sam's story.

Stock image of a person in a white top seated at a desk writing on a piece of paper with a black pen

Young people are under threat of long-term unemployment. Data shows nearly one in every 5 young people in Australia's labour market has been out of work for a year or more – and it's not their fault. 

New research shows that unemployed young people are as assiduous in their job hunting as older job seekers.

Read the full report (PDF, 306 KB)

Read the press release.

Image of Taylor, who featured in the Brotherhoods 'Not dole bludger' campaign.

Taylor, 19, challenges stereotypes about young people looking for work and shares her experiences with training and employment program, Transition to Work.

Watch the video.

March 2017

Jimmy Barnes pictured sitting in an armchair

The iconic singer Jimmy Barnes lends his voice to our campaign for youth employment.

"Take it from a working class man – we all do deserve some hope that we can achieve our dreams."

Read more of Jimmy's story.

Image of a No entry sign against a blue sky background

Underemployment – having some work but wanting more hours – is the highest it's been in 40 years. 

More than 650,000 young people were unemployed or underemployed in February 2017. 

Read the full report (PDF, 306 KB)

Read the press release.

Portrait image of Aaron, featured in the video for our Youth Unemployment Campaign

Aaron, 19, is hunting for full-time work. He'd like to earn enough to launch an independent life. But in a job market where competition for entry-level roles is intense, he's finding it tough.

Watch the video.

November 2016

Portrait photograph of Alpha Cheng

In the aftermath of his father’s fatal shooting by an ISIS radicalised teenager, teacher Alpha Cheng draws strength from the values of his migrant family – and hopes for a more inclusive Australia.

Read more of Alpha's story.

Image of traffic control sign signifying 'road closed'

The Brotherhood of St Laurence’s data analysis shows that 61 per cent of unemployed people aged under 25 lack a driver’s licence.

This can be a major obstacle to finding work.

Read the full report (PDF, 182KB)

Read the press release.

A young man, Mark, who is a TTW participant

Our Transition to Work program provides participants with workplace tours and networking opportunities, to open their eyes to broader career paths. We partner with companies such as Mainfreight to provide these opportunities.

Watch the video.

March 2016

Portrait photograph of Catherine Keenan

Australian of the Year ‘Local Hero’ Catherine Keenan joins our youth jobs campaign. The one certainty today’s young people can count on is that their world will constantly change, the youth educator says.

Read Catherine's column.

Map of Australia showing youth unemployment hotspots

The Brotherhood of St Laurence has pulled together key ABS data to identify the 20 worst performing areas for youth unemployment in Australia.

Rural and regional locations rank among the hardest hit communities.

Read the full report (PDF, 512KB)

Read the press release.

Still image of Shanna taken from her video interview with the Brotherhood

Shanna, 21, has only secured two short-term jobs since finishing school in 2012. She talks about the challenges she faces in her job search which is complicated by living far from the city.

Watch the video.

November 2015

Portrait photograph of David Gonski

Businessman David Gonski led a major review of school funding. In this column for the Brotherhood's campaign for youth employment, he reflects on how education and skills shape life chances.

Read David's column.

stock image of young person crossing an empty car park

Australia’s young men and women are experiencing joblessness differently. As the two sexes face different hurdles in their job search, the 2008 global financial crisis continues to cast a long shadow.

Read the full report (PDF, 334KB)

March 2015

Photograph of Senator Ricky Muir taken from video interview discussing experience of being jobless

Senator Ricky Muir writes frankly about leaving school at age 15, and the ‘soul-destroying’ experience of being jobless. He says the idea that 'young people are lazy' is a stereotype.

Read Ricky's column.

Watch a video of Ricky

Stock image teenager in contemplative pose, resting head on the back of their hand

The dreams of Australia’s unemployed youth are being shattered as the nation’s unemployment rate overall climbs. More than 290,000 Australians aged 15 to 24 were categorised as unemployed in January.

Read the full report (PDF, 333 KB)

Stock image of two youths in discussion at an outdoor table

Tackling youth unemployment is a complex issue, but key answers can be found in our Youth Transitions Service which is currently motivating young people in unemployment hotspots in outer Melbourne.

Read about the service.

September 2014

Portrait images of Amy Rhodes and Laura Sobels

'Let us be clear – youth unemployment is not a ‘young people’ issue. It is a societal, generational issue.' Hear from Amy Rhodes and Laura Sobels, Australian delegates to the Y20.

Read Amy and Laura's column.

stock image of young barrista

Analysis shows that by mid-2014, more than 15 per cent of workers in the 15-24 group were underemployed. This is the highest rate of underemployment for this group in the last 36 years.

Read the full report (PDF, 204KB)

Image of Kevin, a still taken from his video interview with the Brotherhood

‘I just want to get out there and work.’ Kevin, 21, who counts as underemployed, talks about what it's like to work 10 hours a week.

Watch the video.

April 2014

Portrait image of Ken Henry

'I believe there is a special case for taking an interest in youth unemployment. It is concerning that more than one-third of the unemployed people in Australia are aged 15 to 24.'

Read Dr Ken Henry's column.

image of many runner's feet on treadmills at a gym

A new analysis by the Brotherhood of St Laurence reveals more than 50,000 people aged between 15 and 24 nationwide have now been on the unemployment treadmill for more than a year.

Read the full report (PDF, 147KB)

stock image of a winged statue holding brass classical horn

The Business Council of Australia president, Catherine Livingstone, declares youth unemployment ‘one of the greatest priorities for government and business to tackle.’

Read the release.

March 2014

Image of Russel Howcraft, Executive at Channel 10

‘I left school thinking I could do anything but not really sure what that “anything” was.’ Russel Howcroft, Executive General Manager Channel 10, shares his story of leaving school and entering the workforce.

Read Russel's column.

Map detailing areas of Australia with high youth unemployment

Our new analysis of the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force data shows severe increases in youth unemployment in many parts of Australia, particularly in regional and rural areas.

Read the full report (PDF, 3.6MB)

Preview of one of the unemployment maps featured in the report

Click below to view maps showing the areas in individual Australian states where youth unemployment has spiked most dramatically over the past two years.

View the maps.

February 2014

Portrait image of John Hartigan

‘Today we are seeing youth unemployment figures that have reached crisis point’, writes John Hartigan, former CEO of News Limited in our first Youth Unemployment Monitor.

Read John's column.

Map detailing Australia's youth unemployment hotspots

The Brotherhood of St Laurence has pulled together key data to help you understand the pressing issue of youth unemployment in Australia.

Read the full report (PDF, 229KB)

Portrait image of Troy, a still taken from his video interview with the Brotherhood

Troy, 19, had been looking for a job for over a year. Listen to his thoughts on how hard it can be to find work with no experience or networks.

Watch the video.


For all media enquiries contact: 
Jeannie Zakharov. Senior Communications Manager
Phone: 0428 391 117
Email: jzakharov(at)

For information on the Youth Unemployment Monitor, email the Principal Advisor, Public Affairs and Policy: ffarouque(at)

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Australian Aboriginal flag, a yellow circle on two horizontal black and red stripes

The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

Torres Strait Islander flag, an icon of a traditional headdress on blue, black and green stripes