POST 77: THE MCGOWAN GOVERNMENT’S ABYSMAL YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT RECORD

Summary

What type of government offers foreign migrants 350 State nominated occupations – when youth unemployment shots up by 25%?

You guessed it, the McGowan government.

The Australia Bureau of Statistics reveals over 7,000 young West Australians were added to the unemployment list at January 2021 – the rate soaring from 13.1% to 16.1%.

It’s outrageous the McGowan government would offer good occupations to foreign students when nearly 37,000 young locals are unable to find work (see Table 1 below).

A honourable government would close down regional and graduate migration programs immediately and prioritise local workers.

Effective unemployment

Population Research WA calculations of ABS Labour Force survey suggest youth unemployment is more serous than official headline measures. We include young people that have been stood down due to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak in March 2020.

This amounts to the cumulative impact of the pandemic on WA youth Labor force numbers since March 2020, See Table 1. This is the effective unemployment rate.

This highlights that youth unemployment has grown to over 41,000 people, from March 2020 to January 2021, with an effective unemployment rate of 18.2%.

McGowan government’s state migration blunders

Many state nominated visas go to foreign students with TAFE certs. Surely young West Australian’s could fill these roles. The Labor government have over 120 occupations earmarked for foreign workers

Is the McGowan government keeping their migration programs open because many migrants work for less than minimum wages? Under pressure from Industries demanding government maintains a ready supply of cheap foreign Labor?

The evidence suggests this is the case. Studies have demonstrated 59% of temporary foreign visas in Australia work in low skilled occupations.

This proportion rises when measured by different visa types. Of the total number of Foreign students and working holiday makers that are employed, 75% work in low skilled positions. This is bound to have a significant impact on domestic wage growth?

Table 1: West Australia youth (age 15-24), unemployed January 2021, original

MonthLabour force total (000’S)Official total unemployed (000’s)Official unemployment rate
Jan-2021227.65036.61116.1%
 Temporarily stood down (000’s)Official unemployed plus stood down (000’s)Unemployment plus stood down (effective rate)
March 2020 – Jan 2021 4.770 41.38118.2%

(Source: Australia Bureau of Statistics, 2021)

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