Young people, many of who may be trying to enter the workforce for the first time, are usually disproportionately affected when the economy slows down. Relatively weak conditions in regional Queensland, which I discussed in my last post, have contributed to some very high rates of youth unemployment in particular regions, including Cairns, Townsville and Wide Bay. Both Cairns and Wide Bay have a youth unemployment rate (among 15-24 year olds) of over 20 per cent, compared with a State average of around 14 per cent, according to Queensland Treasury’s smoothed estimates of the regional ABS Labour Force data released last week (see Regional Youth Unemployment). I produced the map below of youth unemployment rates across Queensland using the Queensland Treasury estimates.
And here’s the close up for SEQ:
High rates of youth unemployment should mean that we seriously consider removing regulations that unnecessarily constrain job creation (e.g. trading hours and taxi regulations). And they also mean we should consider at least the modest reforms to penalty rates proposed recently by the Productivity Commission.