37.8 per cent of 15 to 24 year old’s are either out of work or need more hours – the highest rate since the ABS started tracking in 1978.

Youth unemployment is at its highest point since July 1997, and 750,000 workers are currently employed with no hours of work, many only employed thanks to JobKeeper.

Against this backdrop the Morrison Government is spreading misinformation about young people refusing to work while failing to confirm the extension of  JobKeeper past September, at a time when millions of workers are still reliant on it and hundreds of thousands would lose work instantly without it.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“Young people are facing conditions that we haven’t seen since the 70s. They need support from the Government to ensure that they come out of this pandemic with a job.

“What they are getting instead is baseless assertions from the Morrison Government that they aren’t taking their opportunities. The data clearly shows these opportunities are a figment of the Government’s imagination. There is only one job available for every 12 people looking for one.

“The prime Minister wants to move on, but huge parts of the country are still deep in this crisis and most young people are still just trying to survive.

“Cutting JobKeeper in September would be a catastrophe for the millions of Australian workers who are currently using it to pay their bills and rent.

“We need leadership and a plan for job creation from this Government, not a tired rerun of blaming unemployed young people for the fact they can’t find a job.”