Updated statistics released by the ABS yesterday show that 28,600 people experiencing homelessness in Australia are working full-time. That’s 16.5 percent of all people experiencing homelessness.
The figures also show that more than one in three people aged over 15 experiencing homelessness are employed in some capacity. That’s 61,500 people in some kind of work whose wages don’t even pay enough to put a roof over their head.
Nearly half the homeless population – 45.6 percent – is either in work or looking for work. And the unemployment rate for people experiencing homelessness is 22.5 percent.
According to the 2016 census, homelessness has jumped by more than 16 percent in the 5 years from 2011 to 2016. The worst affected group is people between 19 and 34.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
“We need a living wage. We need to change the rules so that working a full-time job doesn’t leave you homeless.
“It is appalling that in a wealthy, prosperous country like Australia, nearly 30,000 can work full-time jobs but not earn enough to afford basics like housing.
“This release shows how badly we need to make the minimum wage a living wage that can pay for the basics of life for working people and their families.”