Unemployed for a year? 44 percent chance of working again

Helping long term unemployed

It’s tough writing resumes for long-term unemployed people. I emphasise potential and motivation.

The longer one is unemployed the harder it is to get a job – but not impossible.

Australian Council of Social Service CEO Cassandra Goldie told ABC viewers in 2020, it was important to get people out of unemployment quickly.

Studies show the longer a person is unemployed, the slimmer their employment chances become.

Recent analysis suggests people unemployed for one to two years have a 44 per cent smaller chance of finding work within the next year than people unemployed for less than three months.

For those unemployed longer, the likelihood is even slimmer.

Since March 2009, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows, long-term unemployment — that is, people unemployed more than 12 months — has been rising as a share of total unemployment.

The Department of Human Services found that of the people who had been on benefits for up to three months, nearly 55 per cent had “exited payment” within the year.

By contrast, of those who had been on benefits for one to two years, only 31 per cent were off benefits by the end of the study.

That makes their chances 44 per cent lower than people unemployed for up to three months — chances that continued to fall the longer they were on benefits.

Only 23 per cent of those who had been on benefits for two to five years were off benefits by the end of the year, along with just 13 per cent of those who had been on benefits for over five years.

Experts said most of the research on long-term unemployment was done following recessions in the 1980s and 1990s when unemployment had been high.

The longer a worker spends unemployed, the greater their job prospects diminish.


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Malcolm builds expert resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles, which unleash an unbeatable business case to promote you as a ‘must have’ asset to an employer.