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

Wise Words

PwC partner Sara Caplan urges more employers to fish in a wider talent pool and go beyond traditional university qualified candidates.

Read more of Sara's story

Prosperity’s pressure point

Today, 46,000 young Australians are ‘long term unemployed’. And, as youth unemployment overall hits 12 per cent, some 265,000 young people are in the unemployment queue.

Read the report (PDF, 133 KB)

Ben's U-turn

Ben, 17, has discovered a satisfying career working in child care, a big U-turn from following his dad’s footsteps of working on cars.

Watch the video

Previous monitors

March 2019

Wise Words

Elijah Buol, who arrived in Australia as a child refugee, believes that as a nation we must invest in our most marginalised youth.

Read more of Elijah's story

Youth unemployment hotspots

Our latest data analysis updates the youth unemployment ‘hotspots’, and reveals the regions where young jobhunters are doing it toughest.

Read the report  (PDF, 941 KB)

Read the press release

Jayda’s job journey

Jayda, 16, lives in regional Queensland. She shares the hurdles she’s overcoming in her search for secure work.

Watch the video.

December 2018

Wise Words

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

Part-time purgatory

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)

Read the press release

Wanted: more hours

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.

March 2018

Wise Words

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."

Youth unemployment hotspots

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. 

Read the report (PDF, 540 KB)

Read the press release

Life chances: James and Nick

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

Wise Words

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.

Reality bites

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.

Job hunter

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

Wise Words

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.

Generation stalled

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.

Career stalled

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

Wise Words

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.

Transport challenges youth

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.

Transition to Work

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

Wise Words

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.

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.

Working hard for her chance

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

Wise Words

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.

Young and burdened

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

Wise Words

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

Teenage dream unravels

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)

Youth Transitions Service

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

Wise Words

'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.

Barely Working

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)

Reality of underemployment

‘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

Wise Words

'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.

On the Treadmill

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)

Clarion Call

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

Wise Words

‘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.

Barely Working

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)

Unemployment maps

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

Wise Words

‘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.

Youth unemployment snapshot

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)

Troy’s story

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
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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.

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