6 May 2024

Youth bearing the brunt of rising unemployment

From Nine To Noon, 9:30 am on 6 May 2024
Magnifying glass over Jobs section of newspaper classifieds

Photo: 123rf

The latest unemployment figures show once again youth are hardest hit during economic headwinds.

Last week, Stats NZ reported the official unemployment rate rose to 4.3 percent in the first quarter of this year.

In the year to March, official unemployment rose by 31,000 people with youth, 15-24 year olds, comprising more than half of that increase - rising by 21,000.

According to Stats NZ data, the rate of youth not in employment, education, or training (NEET) has fluctuated with the economy over the past two decades.

After experiencing relative stability in the early 2000s, the Global Financial Crisis triggered a dramatic spike in youth NEET rate, peaking at 17.8 percent for young women and 12.6 percent for young men.

In the three months to the end of March, the proportion of New Zealand youth not in employment, education, or training was sitting at 12.4 percent.

AUT Professor of Economics and NZ Policy Research Institute director Gail Pacheco speaks to Kathryn.