COVID-19 has knocked out the job hopes of many Gympie people, especially the young.
COVID-19 has knocked out the job hopes of many Gympie people, especially the young.

COVID job hit destroys hope for the young

COVID-19 has decimated the job hopes of Gympie people, especially the young.

But latest figures obtained by The Gympie Times show it is even worse almost everywhere else.

The figures show an unheard of 87 per cent increase in people registered with job agencies as actively looking for work in the Gympie area.

The figures are not the same as the unemployment figure but include only those who have not given up actively seeking work and who are doing so via job agencies.

They put a statistical frame around increasingly desperate times across the region, as unemployment heads skyward across Queensland and Australia.

"The economy's gone off a cliff," one informed source said yesterday.

Gympie "Job Active" figures, showing the number of people registered as actively looking for work, revealed the 87 per cent increase figure, which was measured from the end of February to the end of last month across Gympie region.

Over Gympie's larger Wide Bay Burnett statistical region, the figure is even worse, at 120 per cent, while Queensland's increase in people seriously on the job search path and engaged with job agencies increased by 116 per cent overall.

At Noosa and the Sunshine Coast it is hugely worse, with an increase of 230 per cent.

This has been informally attributed to the large slice of that region's economy dependent on tourism and hospitality.

Hopefully we will see a big improvement as the hospitality and visitor industries recover, the source said.

Job Keeper recipients increased 9.2 per cent and official unemployment in Wide Bay Burnett has moved up from 6.1 per cent to 7.2 per cent.

Economic observers say that figure could get to 10 per cent, which would be the "highest since 2001."

Meanwhile a new report from the Per Capital organisation, shows the worst unemployment and underemployment for young people since the Great Depression, about 90 years ago.

The Per Capita report calls for "a new approach to supporting young people to find good secure jobs as they enter the workforce during the worst economic crisis in Australia's history."

Unemployment and underemployment figures do not include more than 290,000 people between 15 and 24 who have, according to Per Capita, given up looking for work since March.

"Almost two in three young workers do not have enough work to meet their needs," the report says.