Faces of Unemployment 2021



In the wake of a pandemic and deep recession, this third Faces of Unemployment report examines the profile of people affected by unemployment – those relying on the $45 a day JobSeeker Payment and even lower Youth Allowance.

It looks behind the headline unemployment statistics to reveal that long-term unemployment – as measured by reliance on unemployment payments for over 12 months – is now entrenched at an economically and socially harmful level. It examines trends in entry-level jobs and ‘mismatch’ in the labour market, showing that it’s no easy matter for people who are unemployed to secure paid work despite growth in job vacancies. We also look at the assistance provided to people by jobactive employment services and what should be done to improve the employment prospects of people unemployed long-term.

Part 1

That’s a 31% increase
during the COVID-19 pandemic.

80% of those people have been on income support
for more than a year and 49% for more than two years.


Part 2

But this does not include people
who were looking to change jobs.

Entry-level jobs dropped by 148,000, while higher-paid positions rose by 405,000,
reducing employment prospects for many people on unemployment payments.


Part 3

44% are over 45 years of age.
34% have a disability.
55% are women.