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15 people per job: The Aussies struggling to find work

A crowd of people walk on a busy Australian street to represent people looking for a job.
Around 100,000 Aussies are struggling to get an entry-level job. (Source: Getty)

Despite Australia's low unemployment rate, a new report has found the jobs market has been locking out the same people.

The Anglicare Australia Jobs Availability Snapshot measured how many jobs were available for people who didn’t have qualifications or work experience.

The report found that, across Australia, for every entry-level job, there were 15 people competing for it.

The report found that the Australians who were struggling to gain access to the jobs market would spend an average of five years looking for work.


On top of that, 860,000 people in Australia were underemployed and they could also be competing for the same entry-level jobs.

“Our system is failing those who need the most help to find work – people with disabilities, who didn’t finish year 12, or older workers who lost their jobs later in life,” Anglicare executive director Kasy Chambers said.

“Our Snapshot shows that almost 100,000 Australians in this situation are looking for work. That number has barely budged in five years. The same people are being left behind each year.”

Chambers said, for many Aussie workers, they just needed to get that first entry-level job to get their feet on the jobs ladder, but there weren’t enough to meet demand.

“Across Australia, there are 15 jobseekers competing for each entry-level role. People with barriers to work barely stand a chance,” Chambers said.

“Even in a surging market, the same people are missing out. The right jobs aren’t there for the people who need them.”

Employment services ‘need overhaul’

Chambers said the employment services system needed to be overhauled to help people who had been out of work long-term.

“This system props up private employment providers and costs taxpayers millions each year, but it is failing at getting people into work,” Chambers said.

“We need to create entry-level opportunities for people in growing industries – like aged and disability care. And we need to lift jobseekers out of poverty. Nobody should be trapped in poverty while they look for work.

“The new Government is already reviewing the system. That's a good start. Our hope is that they will work with us to build a system that helps people, instead of leaving them behind.”

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