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Youth Unemployment Rate Three Times Average

Thursday 14th Dec 2000 Dr Muriel Newman Media Release -- Other

The youth unemployment rate is nearly three times the average rate amongst any age group and increasing the minimum wage will not improve the situation, said ACT Youth Affairs spokesman Muriel Newman.

The Government has agreed to increase the adult minimum wage by 2% to $7.70 an hour, lower the age of eligibility for the adult minimum wage from 20 to 18, and increase the youth minimum wage for 16 and 17 year olds to 80% of the adult minimum wage.

“Making youth employees more expensive relative to experienced workers with proven work records will do nothing to improve youth unemployment. Getting these young people into real jobs and stopping them going straight from school to the dole has to be the highest priority of this government

The unemployment rate for youth 15-19 years old is 15.9 per cent. This compares with 8.4 per cent for 20-24 year olds; 5.0 per cent for 35-39 year olds and 5.1 per cent for 55-59 year olds.

“Labour Department advice to the coalition government said that raising the minimum wage and the youth wage would increase unemployment. Yet Alliance Minister Laila Harre chose to ignore this sound advice to score political points for her party,” said Muriel Newman.


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