The troubling lift in long-term unemployment in Australia, in one chart

Australia’s unemployment rate currently sits at 5.4%, according to the ABS, the lowest level since November 2012.

It’s good news, continuing to move lower having been over 6% less than three years ago.

However, while the the proportion of the labour force out of work is declining, the same cannot be said for long-term unemployed.

In contrast to the broader trends, their numbers are rising, especially among those who have been out of work for more than two years.

This chart from Macquarie shows the unwelcome increase, leaving the proportion of the workforce who haven’t been employed in the past two years at the highest level in 15 years.

Macquarie Bank

While it may be tempting to call these people “dole bludgers”, or similar, the increase likely reflects the disruption facing many traditional industries, leaving many unemployed workers with skills that are either not in high demand or obsolete altogether.

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