Release type: Media Release


Labour Force January 2022 – Youth jobs market heads off disruption


The Hon Luke Howarth MP
Assistant Minister for Youth and Employment Services

The youth unemployment rate has fallen further in January 2022, after hitting levels not seen for 14 years, newly released ABS figures show.

The youth unemployment rate declined from 9.4 per cent in December 2021 to 9.0 per cent in January 2022 – the lowest rate recorded since October 2008. Meanwhile, the youth participation rate stood at 69.8 per cent in January 2022, above the 68.3 per cent in March 2020 at the onset of the pandemic.

This occurred against the backdrop of a strong labour market overall, which saw employment reach a record high of 13,255,000. These encouraging results were achieved despite the ongoing disruptions to the labour market, as the Australian Government skills up Australians to strengthen the future workforce.

Assistant Minister for Youth and Employment Services, the Hon Luke Howarth MP, said the data showcased how Australia’s young people have persevered despite the negative impact of COIVID-19.

“This is a labour market that has displayed remarkable resilience, despite Omicron, and has seen significant inroads being made into youth unemployment – that’s a remarkable achievement,” Assistant Minister Howarth said.

“The times are tough but the figures are more than encouraging. Youth have borne the brunt of the pandemic, but their persistence and resilience has meant we’re now seeing a number of labour market indicators return to their pre-pandemic levels.

“We’re going to continue to support young people. The Government is committed to getting young Australians into education and training and connecting them with opportunities.”

The Government’s investments in youth are mapped out in Australia’s Youth Policy Framework and include a $7.8 billion investment in skills and $20 billion in higher education this financial year alone. 

Other measures include $1.2 billion over four years for the Transition to Work program, which supports disadvantaged young people into employment and education.

For more information on the Youth Policy Framework, visit: