Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann has pointed to new evidence of the heavy economic burden being carried by young people in his electorate of Blair, revealing the COVID-19 recession could cost young people up to $7 billion in lost wages over a decade.
New research conducted by economic consultants Ernst & Young (EY) shows the average 21-year-old entering the workforce is likely to miss out on up to $32,000 over a decade, and that workers aged 18-23 years could have $22,000 less to spend on a home and $30,000 less in retirement savings.
Mr Neumann said that with 90 per cent of a worker’s income growth occurring in the first decade of their career, young people entering the workforce during a recession will have their long term earnings severely impacted.
“We know young people are facing an incredibly heavy economic burden during this pandemic – with many not only facing a reduction in earnings, but the complete loss of work,” he said.
“The most recent labour force figures showed across the country 16.1 per cent of our young people are now unemployed, well more than double the national average of 7.1 per cent.
“Here in Ipswich, youth unemployment is even higher at a staggering 19.9 per cent – up from 11.4 per cent this time last year around the time of the Federal Election – and also more than twice the average unemployment rate of 8.4 per cent for the region.
“The true extent of the crisis facing our young people continues to unfold, and our young population desperately needs leadership and a plan from the Morrison Government.
“The Government must take all necessary steps to support our young people in Ipswich, the Somerset Region and Karana Downs region during and after this crisis, or we could see entrenched consequences for years to come.
“One thing the Government could do right now is better target support to ensure our young Australians are not being left behind.
“It’s also vital that the Government does not take a ‘snap back’ approach and withdraw support too quickly or bluntly.
“This is all the more reason not to cancel the JobKeeper wage subsidy too early as this would mean more businesses closing down and more workers losing their jobs here in Blair.
“The less done to protect jobs and support vulnerable young people in the coming months, the harder and longer the recovery will be.
“I want young people and young families in our region to have a bright future. The Government must do all it can to ensure they are not left out and left behind in the recovery,” Mr Neumann said.