Move now to avoid future underemployment pain: report


Think tank Per Capita argues governments should use the COVID-19 crisis to ensure people can get the number of hours at work they need and avoid the scarring effects of recession and underemployment.

Since the COVID-19 crisis the number of people looking for more hours of work shot up to around 15 per cent which the organisation estimates would raise the yearly rate of wages lost from lack of work to $32 billion.

They argue lost income from underemployment will have long term effects not only on people’s savings, but also their ability to progress in the workforce.

In a new discussion paper, they argue governments could explore a range of options such as strengthening bargaining for workers, pouring money in TAFEs and a Youth Job Guarantee to ensure young people do not remain unemployed for long periods of time.

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