Youth in Greater Melbourne have been especially badly hit by the lock-down

The ABS regional labour force data released last week (when seen through the lens of the Conus Trend) allows us to see the significant impact that the Victoria, and particularly the Melbourne, lock-down have had on the youth cohort.

Since March total employment in Victoria has fallen 218,800 (or 6.4%). This combined with a sharp move lower in participation has led to a reduction of 175,800 people in the labour force (those in, or actively looking for, work)…a reduction of 4.8%.

However when we consider the youth (15-24 yo) cohort in Greater Melbourne we see a 59,800 fall in employment (down 15.9%) and a 50,500 drop in the labour force, a sharp contraction of 11.8%. The effect outside the capital, while significant, is nowhere near as bad.

We have seen the unemployment rate in Victoria lift by 1.5 ppts since March to now sit at 6.7% (this would be much higher were it not for the collapse in participation to levels not seen since May 2004). However, in Greater Melbourne, despite precipitous declines in the labour force, youth unemployment has lifted 4.1 ppts to 16.5%.

The young in Melbourne has taken a massive hit to their employment opportunities from the lock-downs and these impacts are likely to have long-term scarring effects on their future employment and income outcomes.


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