The Aussies hit hardest by job losses


Generation Z are getting smashed by the COVID-19 recession with 44 per cent of job losses hitting Australians aged under 25.

A generational divide has emerged in today's unemployment figures, the worst in nearly 20 years.

Teenagers and young workers lost a stunning 100,000 jobs in the month of May alone - nearly half of all job losses.

And economists warn teenagers and young workers face a double whammy because they will be forced to pay for the largesse of the COVID-19 handouts through higher taxes for decades to come.

Since March, under 25s have lost a stunning 329,000 jobs, representing the largest single aged group in the COVID-19 unemployment figures.

And while the new job figures put the official unemployment rate at 16 per cent for young workers, economists say the true figure is much higher.

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In fact, one in four young Australians is now out of work, according to Indeed's chief economist Callam Pickering.

"If every young person who has lost their job in the last month was counted the true unemployment rate would be 26 per cent," Mr Pickering told

Instead, hundreds of thousands of younger workers have "given up" searching for work, returning to university or school or not searching for work.

Since March, over 800,000 jobs have been lost with under 25s bearing the brunt and losing 329,000 jobs.

"Job losses for women are also greater across all age groups. The decline in hours worked is also much larger among part time workers and we know that women and young people tend to be concentrated in those roles," Mr Pickering said.

While the JobSeeker allowance was doubled to $550 a week during the COVID-19 shutdowns, it will revert to a smaller amount in September and JobKeeper is likely to be phased out.

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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Thursday the unemployment rate is at 13.1 per cent. Picture: Sam Mooy/Getty Images
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Thursday the unemployment rate is at 13.1 per cent. Picture: Sam Mooy/Getty Images

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But the $60 billion cost of the JobKeeper scheme will still need to be repaid in the decades to come, most likely by the thousands of young workers who lost their jobs.

"At some point a lot of this debt is going to have to be repaid. Much of that is going to fall on the shoulders of today's younger workers," Mr Pickering said.

"The impact of the Global Financial Crisis continued for the best part of a decade for younger age groups."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said today there was no doubt that young workers are bearing the burden of the recession.

"We've had 800,000 people lose their jobs but only 211,000 are classified as unemployed," the Prime Minister said.

"Young people, they have been most affected in these numbers. But my hope is that, equally as the economy opens up, they will hopefully also be the first to benefit from the economy opening up. As retail doors open again, as food courts are open again, as shopping centres are fuller again, we hope to see more of those young people back into work but the task will be great."

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Employed people in Australia to May 2020. Picture: ABS
Employed people in Australia to May 2020. Picture: ABS

In the last two months alone, over 835,000 jobs have been lost.

"These are not just numbers. These are our friends, family members, workmates and neighbours," Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.

"The unemployment rate is at 13.1 per cent. Female employment fell by 118,000, making up 52 per cent of the jobs lost in the month of May. Young people, youth employment, making up 45 per cent of those jobs lost in May. These numbers reveal the scale of the challenge we face and the mountain we have to climb."

The unemployment rate in Australia to May 2020. Picture: ABS
The unemployment rate in Australia to May 2020. Picture: ABS

Mr Morrison said he was not going to sugar-coat the unemployment figure which he conceded was higher than the 7.1 per cent official rate.

Some economists suggest the true rate is closer to 11 per cent.

"I indicated that the unemployment rate I think does understate where things are on the ground," he said.

"That is why I made no reference to the rate, I made reference to the fact that 838,000 jobs had been lost because that is what has actually happened out there.

"What I know is 838,000 people have lost a job and that is what we have to turn around."

Originally published as The Aussies hit hardest by job losses