Tasmania's youth jobs crisis

TASMANIAN youth unemployment numbers have topped national figures in a scathing report released yesterday by the Brotherhood of St Laurence welfare group.

An average figure gained from the report shows that one in five regional Tasmanians, 19.6 per cent of people aged 15 to 24, were without work.

Youth Network of Tasmania chief executive officer Joanna Siejka said the disappointing statistics came as no surprise and should be a concern for all Tasmanians.

``We know that low youth employment is hugely damaging across all levels of the Tasmanian community,'' Ms Siejka said.

``Without employment young people are increasingly likely to face disadvantage, particularly over the long term, and can lead to poorer health outcomes and homelessness.''

The report earmarks Tasmania's West Coast and North-West Coast as holding the worst rate of youth unemployment in Australia at 21 per cent.

Tasmania's south-east area is rated fourth worst in Australia, at 19.6 per cent, followed by Launceston and North-East Tasmanian unemployment at sixth worst with a rate of 18.2 per cent.

The report also states that investment in young workers was equal in importance to building transport infrastructure, would increase national growth and cut avoidable costs to public services.

Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory follow Tasmania for high youth unemployment, with 20.5 per cent unemployed in Cairns, 19.7 per cent in North Adelaide and 18.5 per cent in outback Northern Territory.

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