Unemployment is when you are willing and able to work, but you can’t get a job.

To find out how many people in Australia are unemployed, the Australian Bureau of Statistics conducts a survey of households across the country. It’s called the Labor Force Survey.

Each month they ask 65,000 households many questions about their working life. The survey collects data on anyone over the age of 15 years old. Households stay in the survey for eight months at a time.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in August 2013:

  • The unemployment rate in Australia was 5.8%.
  • About 712,000 people were officially unemployed.
  • Youth unemployment climbed to 17.3 per cent, its highest level since October 2010.

Unemployment is a serious problem and it is linked to a number of social and economic factors that are happening all around the world.

Making ends meet when you’re unemployed

If you’ve registered with the Centrelink as ‘unemployed and actively looking for work’, you get the benefit of government financial assistance. Your Newstart Allowance is aimed at helping you find a new start in a new job.

If you’re a jobseeker under 21 years old, you might be eligible for Youth Allowance.

The amount you are entitled to will depend on whether you are married, have kids, live at home or need to live away from home. If you are dependent on your parents, the rate of allowance you are entitled to will depend on their income and assets to measure whether they can financially support you.

Australian Curriculum Links:

Work Studies/Year 9/Career and life design: The nature of work
Describe the nature of work in Australia and the implications for current and future work opportunities.

Work Studies/Year 10/Career and life design: The nature of work
Explain the roles of a range of services and agencies that support employment, self-employment and unemployment.

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