Young People Still Find it Hard to Get a Job, Despite Using The Same Tactics as Older Job Seekers
Dina Bowman, Francisco Azpitarte, 6 Dec 17
       

Young job seekers are more likely to be registered with Centrelink than older job seekers, while those aged 25 and over tended to rely more on social networks and employment agencies when looking for work. Amtec Staffing/Flickr, CC BY-SA

Young people use tactics not dissimilar to those used by older people to get a job, new research finds. But youth unemployment rates are much higher than other age groups - in October 2017 youth unemployment was 12.4% compared to 4.1% for those aged 25 or more.

Young and old job seekers both tend to adopt at least three job search strategies with the most common being: applying in writing, by phone or in person to an employer for work, looking in newspapers, on the internet or notice boards, and answering an advertisement for a job.

Young job seekers are more likely to be registered with Centrelink than older job seekers (53% versus 42%), while those aged 25 and over tended to rely more on social networks and employment agencies when looking for work.

We examined the way young people looked for work with data from the Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, which since 2001 has interviewed the same people – around 15,000 – each year. The interviews include a question for unemployed participants about job search activities they have undertaken in the previous four weeks.

Proportion of unemployed people undertaking job-search activities (%) 2001 - 2015

Almost three quarters (73%) of the unemployed young people in the HILDA sample had applied for a job in the 4 weeks prior to the interview – which was a slightly higher proportion than overall (72.4%).

Differences between young and old job seekers

The HILDA survey also questions unemployed participants about why they think they aren’t able to find work. Young people were more likely than older age groups to cite lack of experience, lack of education and transport issues as key reasons for not getting work.

There is increased competition for entry-level jobs, which the ABS defines as those that require no more than skill level five - compulsory secondary school education or Certificate 1.

Federal Department of Employment data show that vacancies in the skill level five group have declined more than 50% since 2006, the first year for which there are data available.

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