More than one-third of Australians lost their jobs early in the coronavirus pandemic and were younger than 25, a government study has found.
It revealed that 38 per cent of the 592,000 Australians who lost employment in April 2020 amid a nationwide lockdown were aged 15-24 years.
It said that the proportion of people aged between 18 years and 24 years experiencing severe psychological distress increased from 14 per cent in 2017 to 22 per cent.
The proportion of Australians aged between 15 years and 24 years who were not in education, employment or training rose from 8.7 per cent in May 2019 to 12 per cent in May 2020.
“Adolescence and young adulthood is a critical period in a person’s life. Young people often experience rapid physical, social and emotional changes in a time where they are transitioning from dependence to independence.
“This is a time when young people are finishing school, pursuing further training and education, entering the workforce, moving out of the family home, and forming relationships.
“Ongoing monitoring is needed to fully understand the longer-term impact of the pandemic,’’ AIHW spokesperson Sally Mills said in a media release.
In spite of the significant increase in unemployment and distress, the report found young Australians were faring well in some areas.
About 59 per cent of people aged between 15 years and 19 years said they were happy or very happy with their lives in April 2020.