Productivity Commission report finds obstacles on young people's career paths

A new Productivity Commission report shows young people have found it difficult to enter the workforce in line with their level of education. Picture: Shutterstock
A new Productivity Commission report shows young people have found it difficult to enter the workforce in line with their level of education. Picture: Shutterstock

Young people have for years struggled to find employment in their desired field or commensurate with their education, leading to long-term negative effects on their career path, a new report concludes.

The Productivity Commission's Climbing the jobs ladder slower report paints a grim picture for graduates and young people with an analysis of employment data between 2008 to 2018.

The report did not take into account the effect the coronavirus pandemic would have on young people in the job market but noted that it was likely to make an already difficult situation worse.

Productivity Commissioner Catherine de Fontenay said Australia had seen a significant increase in university graduates in the past 10 years.

"Unfortunately, for many graduates that has just meant more competition to enter their chosen profession," she said.

The report found that after 2008's Global Financial Crisis, young people had worse job prospects and salary growth than people aged over 35 and young people prior to 2008.

Unlike previous periods of economic downturn, Australia did not experience high unemployment post the GFC, but the period was characterised by increased part-time employment, lower starting wages and constrained choices of jobs for young people.

The report used a 100 point scale developed by ANU researchers where the more education required to attain a job and higher earnings score higher on the scale.

So a specialist medical practitioner would receive a high score.

After 2008 a greater amount of young people were only able to secure work in a lower scored job and this was more pronounced in the later years of the 10-year period examined.

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The report's ultimate conclusion was that this entry level was critical to determining a young person's career progression as post-2008 young people have struggled to climb the "job ladder" and their earning potential has also suffered.

This story Young people finding it almost impossible to climb the job ladder first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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