What a difference twelve months makes… or does it?
Writing just on twelve months ago, I noted:
Youth unemployment is a contentious and growing challenge for policy makers. The impact of “jobless growth” and modern labour markets where “jobs” are being replaced by “work” or “tasks” means those in the business of preparing the young for transitions from schools to work and further education face levels of uncertainty that are [arguably] as complex as they have ever been.
The simple rate of youth unemployment is one measure. Clear challenges and diverging experiences still remain. Melbourne’s North compared to a regional centre such as Ballarat?
Labour Market “Harshness”
We know labour markets work differently for the young.
As detailed in the International Labour Organisation’s Key Indicators of the Labour Market [KILM] it is generally understood that Youth Unemployment runs at some-where between two  to three  times the base “adult” or “standard” unemployment rate.
In 2015, there were regions in Victoria where this ratio of “youth” to “adult” unemployment exceeded FOUR-TIMES  the adult rate and in some regions reached FIVE-TIMES  the adult rate. This numbers were ‘globally’ significant.
There has been sustained improvement in MOST/all of these labour markets since then. Absolute rates have fallen and the relative “harshness” experienced by the young, 15-24, has “softened”. Australia as a whole has worsened slightly, but Victoria has shown improvement against the National decline.
Only FOUR Victorian labour market regions show a “harsher” change in the environment for young people than in 2015. These are: Warrnambool & South West [+1.2], Latrobe-Gippsland [ +1.1], Melbourne South-East [ +0.3] and Melbourne North-West [+0.1].
12 Months on.
The changes across regional youth labour markets in the last twelve months is quite stark.
As always, PLACE matters. Seven of the eighteen regional labour markets show improvement, from as little as -0.1 percent [hardly a margin of error], to a vastly significant -9.9%. The diversity and depth of labour market outcomes for Victorian youth are increasingly complex and unique. Lets hope this is matched by the policy responses.