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Youth jobless hits highest level since 1990s -

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SHANE MCLEOD: While economists say they are starting to see signs of economic recovery, it's clear
that young Australians are still feeling the effects of the global financial crisis.

A new report to be released tomorrow indicates that the number of teenagers not studying or working
full-time has risen to the highest level since the early 1990s. That means there are more that
175,000 teenagers aged between 15 and 19 that aren't working or studying.

And the biggest number of teenagers, rather, the number of teenagers without a full-time job has
had the biggest one year rise in the past two decades.

Lucy Carter reports.

LUCY CARTER: Twenty-one year old Kayleigh Long has been looking for a job since the beginning of
the year.

KAYLEIGH LONG: Well it's been quite tricky, it's quite demoralising really. And I've been applying
for a wide range of jobs and not really had all that much luck and I'm still on the hunt at the
moment.

LUCY CARTER: She deferred her university degree at the end of 2008 to try and earn some money but
in the 10 months since she's had no luck finding a full-time job.

KAYLEIGH LONG: To a lesser extent I've been looking for hospitality type work. I've applied to some
journalism jobs and also general office type administration work, PA, reception. The ones that I've
actually wanted I've had a few interviews for but not, I haven't had anything solid yet.

I mean, there's one job that I applied for maybe five weeks ago, I've had three interviews and I'm
still in the process there, so it can be quite frustrating, the whole timeframe.

LUCY CARTER: It's a story that researchers from the Foundation for Young Australians are familiar
with.

The 2009 How Young People Are Faring report is the foundation's 11th annual look at the earning and
learning habits of Australians aged 15 to 24.

Director of research, Dr Lucas Walsh, says this year's report is pretty bleak.

He says the most disturbing figure is the number of 15 to 19 year olds that aren't in full-time
work or study.

LUCAS WALSH: It's deeply concerning, we know that this particular age group of teenagers are
amongst the most deeply affected by the economic downturn and this jump from 13 per cent a year ago
to over 16 per cent is the highest level since the recession of the early 90s.

LUCY CARTER: He says that though the economy is showing signs of recovery, it will take years for
young Australians to recover from this slump.

LUCAS WALSH: It's very challenging because we know from this research that the people who miss out
on opportunities post-school to either earn or learn can feel the repercussions years later. We
also know that this is a critical formative period in their development in terms of learning about
the worlds of work and further study.

LUCY CARTER: The report indicates that the current situation is worse for boys than girls, with 15
to 19 year old boys experiencing the greatest overall rise in unemployment.

Dr Walsh says this is to be expected.

LUCAS WALSH: In part we can look at the fact that young men tend to take up apprenticeships and
traineeships and they have ground to a halt in the last year. That's primarily because they're the
first to go when there's an economic downturn. We know also that young women tend to go into
education.

LUCY CARTER: He says state and federal governments must act quickly to get this generation of young
Australians back on their feet.

LUCAS WALSH: Well there's already some good measures in place. I mean we know from the research
that those who complete Year 12 or equivalent will have better chances in life and the current
governments are targeting to increase the number of young people who complete Year 12 or
equivalent. They've got a 90 per cent target that they're seeking to meet by 2015. But more effort
will need to be done in those areas where we need to lift opportunities for young people. This is
regional and remote areas for example.

LUCY CARTER: Twenty-one-year-old Kayleigh Long says she's realised she'll need to look at
alternative ways to find a job.

KAYLEIGH LONG: A few friends who have finished uni have, they've all decided to go regional because
it just seems to be a bit tricky in Sydney. A lot of people have been finding that it's not the
work that they find advertised; it's something where they might do an internship and then see it
internally, so yeah, it doesn't appear on the surface of it that there's a lot out there but it's
the connections that they seem to make when they are doing free labour which seems the way that I
need to get into things at the moment.

LUCY CARTER: The full report from the Foundation for Young Australians will be released tomorrow.

SHANE MCLEOD: Lucy Carter with that report