Notes on the data: Income support

Young people aged 16 to 21 receiving an unemployment benefit, June 2020

Policy context: Unemployment and its accompanying health effects are not distributed evenly through the population. Unemployment rates in Australia are highest among young people, being over twice the rate for people aged 25 years and over, in the 15 to 24 year age group, and over three times for those aged 15 to 19 years [1]. The experience of unemployment harms a young person's financial and psychological wellbeing, and these effects are felt more severely by those who experience long-term unemployment [2]. Furthermore, those who experience unemployment while young are more likely to be unemployed, have poor health and have lower educational attainment when they are older, than those who are not affected by unemployment while young [2].


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery, Nov 2020 [Internet]. (ABS Cat. no. 6291.0.55.001); accessed 23 December 2020. Available from:
  2. Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL). On the treadmill: young and long-term unemployed in Australia. Melbourne: BSL; 2014.

Notes: People receiving an ‘unemployment benefit' - which includes the Youth Allowance (other)1 paid by the Department of Human Services - are shown as proportion of the population aged 16 to 21 years.

Data cells with counts of less than five were suppressed (confidentialised). Therefore, the figures can be undercounted by up to 4 people if one of the cells at the SA2 level comprising a PHA or LGA is confidentialised. Data in the ‘Unknown’ data row in the Excel data workbooks are calculated from the difference between the sum of the PHA or LGA data to the State/Territory totals and include the sum of these suppressed cells.

1 Youth Allowance (other) is comprised of unemployed people aged 16 to 21 years who are looking for full-time work, studying part-time and looking for work, or temporarily unable to work. It excludes full-time students and those undertaking an apprenticeship/ traineeship.

Geography: Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintile and Remoteness Area

Numerator: People aged 16 to 21 years in receipt of the Youth Allowance (other) from the Department of Human Services

Denominator: People aged 16 to 21 years

Detail of analysis: Per cent

Source: Compiled by PHIDU based on data from the Department of Social Services, June 2020; and PHIDU estimated population, 30 June 2020.

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